Gaultheria plants and species
A group of evergreen shrubs, Gaultheria are grown for the foliage as well as the attractive red berried that appear in spring. G. procumbens is known as the ‘Checkerberry’ as well as the ‘Teaberry’ and the berries are said to, have medicinal uses.
This is a low growing form, also known as ‘Wintergreen’ and yes you can get ‘Wintergreen Toothpicks’. Although this plant is originally from South America, it does come from the cooler souther regions and will grow well in temperate to cool climates.
Gaultheria mucronata are also grown for their colourful berries. G. mucronata’ Alba’ with its white berries and prickly foliage is sometimes referred to as ‘prickly heath’ Gaultheria mucronata is originally from South America.
Although this is a hardy plant and will grow well in poor soils and part shade, for better growth, flowers and berries a better soil and a sunny position are desirable.
Gaultheria prefer a humus rich soil and a sunny position. Dig in some well rotted compost and try to make sure that the soil is not overly alkaline. A well drained position is best. G. mucronata will grow to 1.5m