This six inches of self esteem, bursting with pride over its knobed pistil, lives on the edge of shady woods sustained thru creeping underground roots. However, never fear; it’s sparsely distributed and seems not to care about spreading its evergreen leaves anywhere. Don’t be confused with close first cousin Pipsissewa. The Striped Wintergreen is striped with white along each central leaf vein; Pipsissewa is without. You can see this characteristic insignia in the out-of-focus basal leaves – there are no leaves on the stem and that’s as it should be. Native Americans chewed these leaves to help break up kidney stones. What amazes me is the ability for one, centuries ago, to even know what a kidney stone is without xray and fiber optics. According to my male relatives a kidney stone simply means the most excruciating pain you can imagine. Maybe that’s how they knew. Excruciating pain transcends.
© d100529-031 Striped Wintergreen
Stone Mountain Park
DeKalb County, Georgia
Saturday 29 May 2010