Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 300. 1813 ,.
Plants rhizomatous, 1–5.3 dm. Leaves: petiole 3–13 mm, terete or channeled adaxially, glabrous; blade maculate, dull and light green abaxially, shiny and green to dark green with white achlorophyllous tissue bordering larger veins adaxially, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate or ovate, 20–100 × 8–31 mm, base rounded to obtuse or acute, margins coarsely serrate, apex acute to acuminate. Inflorescences (1–)2–5-flowered; peduncle 1(–2) per stem, 4–19 cm, papillose to hispidulous; inflorescence bracts acicular to linear-lanceolate, free portions shorter than pedicels from which they arise, 4–6 × 0.4–0.6 mm, membranous, margins entire. Pedicels (4–)8–25 mm. Flowers: calyx lobes spreading or reflexed in fruit, entirely greenish or margins whitish green, broadly ovate, 1.4–4.1 × 1.3–4.5 mm, margins erose-denticulate, apex rounded to obtuse; petals white or pink, often tinged violet, orbiculate, 6–12 × 4.5–8 mm, margins fimbriate to erose-denticulate; stamens 6–8 mm; filament base 1.2–1.6 mm wide, dilated basal portion densely villous; anthers 2–4 mm, thecae white to tan or pinkish, tubules tan to pinkish brown, 0.8–1.1 mm, abruptly narrowed from thecae, lateral walls not touching, pores 0.3–0.5 × 0.3–0.5 mm; ovary papillose in lines; style 0.5–1 mm; stigma 2–3.5 mm wide. Capsules depressed-globose, 5–10 × 5–10 mm. 2n = 26.
Phenology: Flowering May–Jul(-Aug).
Habitat: Coniferous, mixed, and deciduous forests, xeric sand communities
Elevation: 0-900 m
Ont., Que., Ala., Ariz., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va., Mexico, Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama), introduced in Europe (France).
Chimaphila maculata exhibits considerable morphologic variation, which does not appear to be correlated with geography.