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Gaultheria procumbens (Eastern teaberry)
Kutcher, Daniel

Gaultheria procumbens

Gaultheria procumbens L.

Eastern teaberry, Wintergreen, Checkerberry

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: gapr2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

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.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: Dark Green
Fruit: Red
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: AL , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , ON , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Nf. to Man., s. to New England, GA & AL mts., WI & MN
Native Habitat: Conifer or oak woods & clearings; bogs

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
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.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Chipmunks, grouse, mice, birds and deer eat the leaves during winter.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds

Propagation

Description: Protrate stems are practically all rooted at intervals along their length. These natural layers grow easily. Make suttings in the early summer before the stems/runners become woody. Plant in a sand/peat mixture, store over winter at near-freezing tempe
Seed Collection: Collect the fruit in the fall.
Seed Treatment: Moist stratify for 1-2 months.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU FACU FACU FACU FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Amandas Garden - Springwater, NY
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Additional resources

USDA: Find Gaultheria procumbens in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gaultheria procumbens in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gaultheria procumbens

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2012-11-26
Research By: TWC Staff

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