August 27, 1855

in Thoreau’s Journal:

Goodyera Pubescens–Rattle-snake Plantain is ap. a little past its prime– It is very abundant on Clintonia swamp hill-side quite erect with its white spike 8 to 10 inches high on the sloping hillside the lower half or more turning brown–but the beautifully reticulated leaves which pave the moist shady hill-side about its base are the chief attraction. These oval leaves perfectly smooth like velvet to the touch about 1 1/2 inches long–have a broad longitudinal white white mid-rib & 4 to 6 white parallel veins very prettily & thickly connected by other conspicuous white veins transversely—& irregularly—all on a dark rich green ground.  

Is it not the prettiest leaf that paves the forest floor? As a cultivated exotic it would attract great attention for its leaf– Many of the leaves are eaten. Is it by Partridges? It is a leaf of firm texture partially not apt to be eaten by insects or decayed– & does not soon wilt. So unsoiled and undecayed– It might be imitated on carpets & rugs–some old withered stems of last year still stand.