Botanical Name: Gaultheria procumbens
Height: 10 to 20 cm.
Bloom Time: Early summer, followed by red fruit which can persist until the following spring.
Growing Conditions: Light shade and cool summer temperatures. Well-drained, moist, acidic soil. Growth is slow.
Ottawa Valley or eastern Ontario seed source: Grown from offsets taken, with permission, from the woodlot of our neighbour, where there is a particularly dense and flourishing patch.
Wildlife Benefits: Pollinated by Bumblebees. Ruffed Grouse and other birds, Chipmunks and White-footed Mice eat the fruits.
Remarks: Leaves, when bruised, and fruit have distinct wintergreen fragrance. A very attractive evergreen ground cover, where it can be established. Its requirement for cool, organic, acidic soils means it needs to be sited very carefully if it is to thrive in urban gardens.
Good Companions: Sweet Fern, Low-bush Blueberry.