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pipsissewa

[pip-sis-uh-wuh, -waw] /pɪpˈsɪs ə wə, -ˌwɔ/
noun
1.
any evergreen plant of the genus Chimaphila, especially C. umbellata, the leaves of which are used medicinally for their tonic, diuretic, and astringent properties.
Also called prince's-pine.
Origin
Eastern Abenaki
1780-1790
1780-90, Americanism; perhaps < Eastern Abenaki kpi-pskwáhsawe literally, flower of the woods
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for pipsissewa
  • The understory is typical of northern dry-mesic forest but quite varied with moccasin flower, trailing arbutus, and pipsissewa.
British Dictionary definitions for pipsissewa

pipsissewa

/pɪpˈsɪsəwə/
noun
1.
any of several ericaceous plants of the Asian and American genus Chimaphila, having jagged evergreen leaves and white or pinkish flowers Also called wintergreen
Word Origin
C19: from Cree pipisisikweu, literally: it breaks it into pieces, so called because it was believed to be efficacious in treating bladder stones
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for pipsissewa

any evergreen, herbaceous plant of the genus Chimaphila, of the heath family (Ericaceae). C. umbellata, sometimes also called prince's pine, love-in-winter, and wintergreen, occurs in North America from Canada to Mexico and in Europe and Japan. C. maculata, sometimes called striped pipsissewa, rheumatism root, dragon's tongue, and spotted wintergreen, occurs in North America from Canada to the southern United States. The name pipsissewa derives from a Cree Indian word referring to the diuretic properties of the leaves when eaten.

Learn more about pipsissewa with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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