Prince’s pine flowers, to my eye, are beautiful as well as interesting. The waxy, saucer-shaped blossoms of this wintergreen family member occur in loose clusters at the end of its stem. Lifted clear of the upper leaves, the inflorescence consists of 3 to 15 nodding flowers.
The pink to whitish flowers of prince’s pine (Chimaphila umbellata) have 5 petals, 5 sepals, 10 stamens and a single, plump, superior (flower parts below) green ovary. One author referred to prince’s pine stamens as a halo around the ovary. The unopened buds resemble pinkish peas.
Prince’s pine, also often commonly called pipsissewa, was the topic of two prior posts (“Prince’s Pine” 02-10-14 and “Prince’s Pine – A Mixotroph” 02-12-14) so I will not repeat all the information. Plants are not cooperative – all the growth stages do not occur simultaneously. Thus leaves, flowers and fruits must be studied, photographed and shared throughout the year.
These prince’s pine plants were photographed below the falls at McArthur Burney State Park (Shasta County CA).