Gaultheria hookeri C. B. Clarke

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

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'Gaultheria hookeri' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-06-06.


  • G. veitchiana Craib


The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
Narrowing gradually to a point.
Sharply pointed.
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Angle between the upper side of a leaf and the stem.
Situated in an axil.
Reduced leaf often subtending flower or inflorescence.
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Bearing glands.
Lance-shaped; broadest in middle tapering to point.
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Gaultheria hookeri' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online ( Accessed 2023-06-06.

A low evergreen shrub forming a dense, rounded tuft, and spreading by underground stems but sometimes erect and up to 6 ft high; branchlets clothed with minute down, with which are intermixed long bristles. Leaves of hard texture, 112 to 312 in. long, half as wide, oblong or slightly obovate, rounded or broadly tapered at the base, abruptly narrowed at the apex to a short glandular tip, shallowly toothed, the teeth often bristle-tipped, upper surface much wrinkled, dark glossy green, conspicuously net-veined, without down, lower surface at first furnished with bristles which partially fall away, leaving it harsh to the touch; stalk 112 to 18 in. long. Flowers densely packed in axillary racemes, 1 in. or more long, white. Corolla 16 in. long, nodding, narrowed from the base to the mouth; calyx-lobes lanceolate to ovate, usually acute or acuminate; main-stalk downy, each flower produced in the axil of an ovate, membranous more or less ciliated bract 14 in. long; the short glabrous flower-stalk is also furnished with bracts partially hiding the flower. Fruits indigo-blue, about the size of a small pea. Bot. Mag., t. 9174.

The type of G. hookeri comes from Sikkim, but the species, as now understood, has a wide range, through the eastern Himalaya to W. China. The first recorded introduction was by Wilson in 1907 from W. Szechwan. The plants of this origin have the low, tufted habit as described above and are quite hardy. They were long known as G. veitchiana, but the characters used to separate this species from G. hookeri are not constant. The species may also be in cultivation from Kingdon Ward’s No. 7552, collected in Upper Burma in 1926.

G stapfiana Airy Shaw

A close ally of G. hookeri, differing in the absence or virtual absence of the long bristles which are such a prominent feature of the young branches of G. hookeri. If bristles are present they are short and sparse and more or less appressed. But, as in G. hookeri, the floral bracts are large (up to {1/4} in. long) and form a prominent feature of the inflorescence. This character serves to distinguish G. stapfiana from G. fragrantissima and G. forrestii, in both of which the floral bracts are small. This species is in cultivation at Wakehurst Place, Sussex, where it is liable to be cut in winter. It is probably to be found in other collections, raised from Forrest 14997 or 18501 (though the latter number is incorrect, the corresponding herbarium specimen being Vaccinium forrestii). Bot. Mag., n.s., t.651.