What plant is that?

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December 2021 Mystery PlantDecember 2021 Mystery Plant --clusters
December 2021 Mystery Plant--single plant December 2021 Mystery Plant--closenup of flower
Top row and bottom left:© Francis R. Underwood 2021
Botoom right: kbarton

The mystery plant for December 2021 is a perennial with evergreen leaves. This plant and its inflorescence is about 5-10" tall. Two opposite leaves grow at the base of the plant while a whorl of three or more larger leaves are found near the base of the inflorescence. The leaves are 1-2" long and more or less leathery and glabrous in texture. The margins of the leaves have dentate teeth and are dark green striped with white along the midvein and the primary lateral veins. The surface of the lower leaves is a lighter green in color.

The stem ends in an inflorescence with an umbel of 2-6 flowers. Each flower is 1/2 to 3/4 inch across and has 5 white petals, 5 green sepals and 10 stamens which are pink in color. The flowers are very fragrant and are bumble bee pollinated.

The foliage is toxic to sheep and avoided by deer. Old common names for it were Wild Arsenic or Rat’s Bane. Gil George says the plants bloom from July 6 to August 1. Gleason and Cronquist describe this plant as a low perennial evergreen half-shrub growing from a creeping rhizome. It requires a well-drained and sandy soil.

It’s. . .

Botanical Name:
 
Chimaphila maculata
Common Name:
  Spotted Wintergreen, Striped Pipsissewa
Family:
 

Pyrolaceae (Wintergreen Family)  USDA
Ericaceae (Heath Family) GOBOTANY

Habitat:
  Dry open woods