Last Friday morning, I took a much needed post-Thanksgiving Day hike up Mount Tom, a 1,202-foot-high rugged mountain peak on the west bank of the Connecticut River in Holyoke, MA. I came across a small stand of a very pretty ground-cover with variegated foliage. At first, I thought it looked like some sort of euonymus but I promptly ruled that idea out. I tried to google the plant by describing it, but without success. I took several pictures with my iPhone and was on my way.
This morning, I was reading the latest post of The New Hampshire Garden Solutions blog called Native Evergreens and I spotted my mystery plant. Here is what the author said about this lovely little plant: "Striped wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) loses its chlorophyll and turns deep purple in winter. This plant is relatively rare here and though I’m finding small numbers more and more most of them flower but don’t set seed. I was happy to see this one had a seed pod on it. The Chimaphila part of the scientific name is from the Greek cheima (winter) and philein (to love,) so it loves winter and does not die from the cold." This blog is a must-read for New Englanders interested in nature and native plants. I particularly like it because it focuses on the Monadnock Region where I live in the southwest corner of New Hampshire.