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An evergreen shrub of close tufted habit 4 to 8 in. high; young shoots slightly downy. Leaves clustered towards the end of the twig, obovate to roundish, wedge-shaped at the base, rounded or blunt at the apex, toothed except towards the base 5⁄8 to 11⁄2 in. long, 3⁄8 to 1 in. wide, glabrous except for scattered bristles beneath; stalk 1⁄12 in. or less long. Flowers produced in May and June, two to five on a downy raceme up to 1 in. long; corolla egg-shaped, 1⁄5 in. long, white or pink, with small teeth at the orifice; calyx-lobes small triangular; ovary glabrous. Fruits 1⁄4 in. wide, globose-ovoid, blue-black.
Native of the Himalaya; found by Hooker in Sikkim in 1849. In 1922 it was collected during the Mt Everest expedition at 13,500 ft altitude. In places it forms a dense ground cover in the way of the North American G. procumbens. It is related to G. cuneata which is, however, well distinguished by its white fruits, its downy ovary, and by the oval or narrowly obovate leaves which are distributed all along the downy young shoots. (See also G. miqueliana.)
G. pyroloides is also in cultivation from seed collected by Ludlow, Sherriff, and Hicks in Bhutan under LSH 21153.
A more recent introduction of this species is Schilling 2480, cultivated at Wakehurst Place and available in commerce.