Stem. - Four to ten inches high, leafy. Leaves. - Somewhat whorled or scattered, evergreen, lance-shaped, with sharply toothed edges. Flowers. - White or purplish, fragrant, in a loose terminal cluster. Calyx. - Five-lobed. Corolla. - With five rounded, widely spreading petals. Stamens. - Ten, with violet anthers. Pistil. - One, with a short top-shaped style and disk-like stigma.
Plate XIX. Pipsissewa. - C. umbellate
When strolling through the woods in summer one is apt to chance upon great patches of these deliciously fragrant and pretty flowers. The little plant, with its shining evergreen foliage, flourishes abundantly among decaying leaves in sandy soil, and puts forth its dainty blossoms late in June. It is one of the latest of the fragile wood-flowers which are so charming in the earlier year, and which have already begun to surrender in favor of their hardier, more self-assertive brethren of the fields and roadsides. The common name, pipsissewa, is evidently of Indian origin, and perhaps refers to the strengthening properties which the red men ascribed to it.