Gaultheria procumbens L.

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Credits

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

Recommended citation
'Gaultheria procumbens' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/gaultheria/gaultheria-procumbens/). Accessed 2020-06-04.

Genus

Common Names

  • Creeping Wintergreen

Glossary

corolla
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
berry
Fleshy indehiscent fruit with seed(s) immersed in pulp.
calyx
(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
globose
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
lustrous
Smooth and shiny.
ovate
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.
ovoid
Egg-shaped solid.
variety
(var.) Taxonomic rank (varietas) grouping variants of a species with relatively minor differentiation in a few characters but occurring as recognisable populations. Often loosely used for rare minor variants more usefully ranked as forms.

References

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Credits

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

Recommended citation
'Gaultheria procumbens' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/gaultheria/gaultheria-procumbens/). Accessed 2020-06-04.

A low, tufted evergreen shrub growing 2 to 6 in. high, spreading by creeping stems, from which it sends up slender stems naked except at the top, where they carry a cluster of about four leaves; stems at first downy, afterwards glabrous. and glossy. Leaves dark glossy green, thick and leathery, quite glabrous, obovate or oval, 34 to 112 in. long, 12 to 78 in. wide, faintly toothed, the teeth often bristle-tipped; they have a strong aromatic odour and taste like that of birch, and turn reddish as winter approaches; stalk 16 in. long. Flowers produced in July and August, singly in the leaf-axils, and at the top of the stem. Corolla ovoid-cylindrical, 14 in. long, nodding, pinkish white; calyx-lobes broadly ovate, edged with tiny hairs; flower-stalk downy, 14 in. long, decurved. Fruits bright red, globose, 13 in. wide, with a pleasant, rather insipid taste. Bot. Mag., t. 1966.

Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1762. It has there a variety of popular names such as ‘box-berry’, ‘creeping wintergreen’, and, because of the fondness of partridges for the berries, ‘partridge-berry’. An oil is extracted from it which possesses stimulating and tonic properties, but the main source of this is now Betula lenta. As a garden plant it is very pleasing for the cheerful dark green of its lustrous leaves, forming neat close tufts. It makes a pleasing undergrowth or furnishing beneath thin deciduous shrubs. Owing to the leaves in a great measure hiding the drooping flowers and fruit, its attractiveness is almost wholly in the habit and foliage.


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