May 28, 2017

Single Delight

Moneses uniflora - One-flowered wintergreen

Moneses uniflora – One-flowered wintergreen | Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

Across the Northern Hemisphere, in temperate regions where coniferous forests grow, one might find this diminutive member of the heath family, Moneses uniflora. Also known as one-flowered wintergreen and single delight, M. uniflora is a perennial herb that spreads by creeping rhizomes. The leaves, which can vary from round to egg-shaped, appear mainly at the base of the stem with the single nodding bloom rising above in late spring (this photo was taken in early June in Maine). The white, waxy flower, which is less than an inch wide, is fragrant. In Connecticut, the plant is endangered, while it is a threatened variety in Rhode Island.

Wild Wednesday is a collaboration of Garden Maine and Glen Mittelhauser of the nonprofit Maine Natural History Observatory, www.mainenaturalhistory.org.

In 2012, Glen began working to catalog the plants of Baxter State Park, which you can read about here and find out how to sponsor a plant of your own. Courtesy of a poll taken in 2012, Garden Maine is sponsoring this lovely plant.