Gaultheria procumbens L.
Eastern teaberry, Wintergreen, Checkerberry
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
A low, woody ground cover, wintergreen is grown for its evergreen
foliage, flowers, and berries. Two to six inch branches arise from creeping, underground stems and bear 1-2 in. long, oval,
shiny, dark green leaves which turn reddish with the advent of cold weather. Small, bell-shaped, white to pink flowers hang on short stems from the leaf axils. The creeping stem
of this low, evergreen shrub
has upright branches with white, bell-shaped, nodding flowers, solitary
or in groups of 2 or 3 in the leaf axils Aromatic red berries follow the flowers.
This leathery, semi-woody, aromatic perennial
has creeping underground stems, thus forming small colonies of plants. Showy red fruits may persist through the winter. The genus
was named for Dr. Gaultier, a Canadian physician of the mid-18th century. Teaberry extract is used to flavor teas, candies, medicines, and chewing gum.
Image Gallery: 9 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Dark Green Fruit:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
AL , CT , DE , GA , IL , IN , KY , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , NH , NJ , NY , NC , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
Nf. to Man., s. to New England, GA & AL mts., WI & MN Native Habitat:
Conifer or oak woods & clearings; bogs USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Very variable.
Conditions Comments: Quite tolerant of shade but grows and flowers best is sunny openings with light shade during midday.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Chipmunks, grouse, mice, birds and deer eat the leaves during winter.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes