Gaultheria procumbens, commonly called wintergreen, is a rhizomatous, creeping, woody, evergreen groundcover of the heath family that is native to woodlands in Eastern North America (Newfoundland to Manitoba south to Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia and in the mountains to Georgia and Alabama). Erect stems clad with glossy, leathery, elliptic to oblong, dark green leaves (to 2” long) rise up from the rhizomes to 3-6” tall. Plants will spread over time to form an attractive ground cover. Waxy, nodding, bell-shaped, white flowers (3/8” long) bloom from the leaf axils in early summer (June-July). Flowers give way to edible bright red berries (3/8” diameter) that persist through winter. Leaves acquire shades of purple in fall. Leaves and fruit have the aroma and taste of wintergreen. Berries are an excellent winter food for some wildlife such as pheasant, grouse, squirrels and deer. Foliage was once used to make oil of wintergreen which has astringent, stimulant and diuretic properties. Wintergreen has been a popular flavoring for chewing gum, candies and toothpaste. Dried leaves can be used to make an interesting tea (teaberry is a sometimes-used common name for this plant), but this usage is no longer recommended. Leaves were once made into poultices for arthritic pain and sore muscles. Fruits may be eaten raw or added to pastries and salads.
Height (mature): .25-.50 ft.
Width (mature): .50- 1 ft.
Bloom Time: Late spring to early summer
Flower Color: Pink
Foliage Color: Evergreen. Bright holly red berries (edible)
Sun: Full shade to half sun.
Creeping Wintergreen (Gaultheria Procumbens) 'Redwood'
Delivery and plantings are currently available in Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon and Mercer counties.
Call (908) 526-5500 for the best delivery price on multiple quantities.