WINTERGREEN, CHECKERBERRY

FAMILY: Ericaceae | GENUS: GAULTHERIA procumbens

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Vines / Ground Covers
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7

Plant Details

Native to eastern North America, this handsome, low-growing shrub is the source of oil of wintergreen. Creeping stems send up erect stems to 6 inches high, with oval, 2 inches-long, glossy dark green leaves clustered near their tips. Foliage emits a strong wintergreen odor when bruised, turns reddish in winter. Small, pinkish white summer flowers are followed by scarlet berries. Ideal as ground cover for a partly shaded rock garden or a woodland garden. Space plants 1 feet apart in acid, well-drained soil containing plenty of organic matter; wintergreen will not survive in clay soil. It performs best in the Upper South and higher elevations of the Appa- lachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. 'Very Berry' is more compact than the species and bears a very heavy crop of berries.

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