Gaultheria procumbens

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Teaberry, Wintergreen, American Wintergreen, Eastern Teaberry, Checkerberry, Boxberry, Creeping Wintergreen, Common Wintergreen, Spreading Wintergreen
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 3 - 8
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: June - July
    Status: Native

Gaultheria procumbens, or Teaberry, is native to about the eastern third of the United States. It is a perennial, which grows in dry to moist, sandy, acidic soil, in and kind of woods that has that soil, pine or deciduous, and also along woodland edges. Some shade is definitely preferred. It blooms in mid summer with small white bell-shaped flowers. By fall, red berries appear that are flavored like wintergreen and were the original source of that flavor.

This species is easy to identify, even when not in bloom or fruit, because it is short, only about five to six inches tall, with three to five waxy green leaves that persist all year, with a new set coming out in spring. The flowers are bell-shaped and white and the berries are bright red. Little else looks like it.

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