E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Chimaphila menziesii (R. Br. ex D. Don) Spreng.
Menzies' pipsissewa (little prince's pine)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)
(Previously in Pyrolaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Michael Wigle  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #13684)

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Distribution of Chimaphila menziesii
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Species Information

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Perennial, slightly woody herb from a rhizome; stems slender, erect or nearly so, simple or sparingly branched, 5-20 cm tall, smooth, reddish.
Generally all stem leaves, 1 to several per whorl, leathery, evergreen, lanceolate to elliptic, 2-6 cm long, toothed or entire, smooth, main veins somewhat white-bordered; stalks 5-8 mm long.
Inflorescence of 1 to 3 nodding flowers in terminal umbel-like cluster, flower stem more or less smooth to pimply; flower stalks 2-6 cm long; bracts widely egg-shaped, dry and translucent, usually persistent after flowering; petals 5, distinct, 5-7 mm long, white or pinkish, waxy, spreading, nearly circular, concave; sepals 5, distinct, rounded, margins jagged, about 5 mm long; ovaries superior; styles in depressed centre of ovary; stamens 10; filament bases widened and swollen, completely hairy.
Capsules, globe-shaped, 5 mm wide.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry forests in the lowland and montane zones; infrequent in SW BC, rare in SE BC; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Chimaphila menziesii

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 465 1348
Slope Gradient (%) 0 31 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 212 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(400), ESSF(1), ICH(2), IDF(5), MH(7), SBS(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American evergreen shrub distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in maritime to submaritime cool mesothermal climates on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen­medium soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Sporadic in coniferous stands on water-shedding sites (less often on water-receiving sites). Usually associated with Hylocomium splendens, Kindbergia oregana, Rhytidiadelphus loreus, and Rhytidiopsis robusta. Characteristic of mesothermal coniferous forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References