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Spreading Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens

Phonetic Spelling
gol-THAIR-ee-ah pro-KUM-benz
Description

Eastern Teaberry is an understory plant in the blueberry family.  It is commonly found in hardwood forests with light to moderate shade and acidic soil. It will also grow in moist organically enriched soil and clay.  Makes an excellent groundcover in shady areas of the landscape.  Plant in a rock garden, woodland garden, or along a foundation. When leaves are crushed a wintergreen fragrance is released. Plants can be spaced 10-14 inches apart but will tend to spread and form a dense carpet.  The round fleshy scarlet seed capsules are a food source for a variety of birds and small animals.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  Aphids and thrips are occasional pests.  Mildew and leaf spot are occasional diseases.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#understory#fragrant flowers#heavy shade#white flowers#wildlife plant#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#playground#food source#NC native#creeping#mat#glossy leaves#foundation planting#woodland#edible fruits#fall fruits#rock gardens#native groundcover#leathery leaves#winter fruits#food source summer#food source winter#food source fall#early summer flowers#food source herbage#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#fall color purple#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#understory#fragrant flowers#heavy shade#white flowers#wildlife plant#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#playground#food source#NC native#creeping#mat#glossy leaves#foundation planting#woodland#edible fruits#fall fruits#rock gardens#native groundcover#leathery leaves#winter fruits#food source summer#food source winter#food source fall#early summer flowers#food source herbage#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#fall color purple#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gaultheria
    Species:
    procumbens
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Leaves were once used to make tea though it is no longer recommended. It was also used to treat arthtic pain and sore muscles. The leaves and fruit produce an oil that has been used as medicine, as well as in candies and chewing gum.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, North Central and Eastern U.S.A.
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits are eaten by many wildlife from birdes to small mammals.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heat, drought, and soil compaction tolerant.
    Edibility:
    Leaves and fruits are used to make wintergreen oil which is used in gum, canyd and toothpaste. Fruits can be eaten raw or cooked in desserts or salads.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 4 in. - 0 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit forms as a berry-like capsule with a large fleshy red edible caly 3/8". Displays from September to November.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Urn
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small, pinkish-white, waxy urn-shaped flowers bloom from June to August, which form at the base of the leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    New growth is light green with a wine-colored tinge. Simple, entire margin ellipitcal to oblog glossy dark green leaves turn purple in the fall. They smell and taste like wintergreen.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade