This article has been marked as incomplete and in need of reformatting. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.

Uses

Toxic parts

The pure distilled essential oil is toxic in large doses[1].

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked[2][3][4][5][6]. Pleasant but insipid[7]. The fruit is not at all insipid, it has a very strong spicy taste of germolene, just like being in a hospital waiting room[K]. Best after a frost, the fruit hangs onto the plant until spring if it is not eaten by birds etc[62, K]. The fruits can also be used in pies, or made into jams etc[8]. The fruit is up to 15mm in diameter[9].

Young leaves - raw[10][11][12]. A pleasant wayside nibble if used when very young[8]. Dry and powdery according to our taste buds[K]. A very agreeable tea is made from the fresh leaves[3][5][8]. A stronger tea can be made by first fermenting the bright red leaves[8].

'Oil of wintergreen' can be distilled from this plant. It is used to flavour beer, sweets, chewing gum etc[8].

Unknown part

Fruit

Leaves

Material uses

An essential oil is obtained from the leaves by steam distillation[2][4][13][14]. In order to obtain the oil, the leaves need to be steeped for 12 - 24 hours in water[15]. The essential oil is used as a food flavouring, medicinally (the original source of Wintergreen oil used as a liniment for aching muscles) and in perfumery and toothpastes. In large doses it can be toxic[16][17]. A good ground-cover plant for shady positions though it requires weeding for the first year or so[18][19][20]. Forming a dense tuft-like carpet, it roots as it spreads and should be spaced about 45cm apart each way[21].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Checkerberry leaves were widely used by the native North American Indians in the treatment of aches and pains and to help breathing whilst hunting or carrying heavy loads[22]. An essential oil (known as 'oil of wintergreen') obtained from the leaves contains methyl salicylate, which is closely related to aspirin and is an effective anti-inflammatory[14]. This species was at one time a major source of methyl salicylate, though this is now mainly synthesized[22].

The leaves, and the oil, are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, stimulant and tonic[15][23][16]. An infusion of the leaves is used to relieve flatulence and colic[24]. The plant, especially in the form of the essential oil, is most useful when applied externally in the treatment of acute cases of rheumatism, sciatica, myalgia, sprains, neuralgia and catarrh[15][22]. The oil is sometimes used in the treatment of cellulitis, a bacterial infection that causes the skin to become inflamed[24]. Some caution is advised, especially if the oil is used internally, since essential oil is toxic in excess, causing liver and kidney damage[15][22]. It should not be prescribed for patients who are hypersensitive to salicylates (aspirin)[22].

The leaves can be gathered at any time from spring to early autumn, they are dried for use in infusions or distilled to produce the oil[22].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

The seed requires a period of cold stratification. Pre-chill for 4 - 10 weeks and then surface sow in a lime-free compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep the compost moist[25]. The seed usually germinates well, usually within 1 - 2 months at 20°c, but the seedlings are liable to damp off. It is important to water them with care and to ensure that they get plenty of ventilation. Watering them with a garlic infusion can also help to prevent damping of[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are about 25mm tall and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter[K]. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. The seedlings are susceptible to spring frosts so might need some protection for their first few years outdoors. The leaves remain very small for the first few years[7].

Cuttings of half-ripe wood 3 - 6cm long, July/August in a frame in a shady position. They form roots in late summer or spring[25]. A good percentage usually take.

Division can be carried out at almost any time of the year, but works best in the spring just before new growth begins[K]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Gaultheria procumbens. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in shade or semi-shade[7][26]. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[7][26]. Succeeds in dry soils once it is well established and tolerates considerable drought[21]. Grows well under the thin shade of deciduous shrubs or evergreens[15][7].

A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -35°c[27]. Plants can become invasive when growing in good conditions[26]. Some named forms have been developed for their ornamental value, 'Dart's Red Giant' has specially large berries[26]. All parts of the plant are aromatic, the bruised leaves having the scent of wintergreen[28].

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[9].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Gaultheria procumbens. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Gaultheria procumbens.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Gaultheria procumbens
Genus
Gaultheria
Family
Ericaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
partial sun
Shade
permanent shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Drought
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Fertility
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

"image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


"image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






References

  1. ? Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  3. ? 3.03.13.2 Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-5531-7 (1972-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.2 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences (1978-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.6 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.5 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.29.3 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Kavasch. B. Native Harvests. Vintage Books ISBN 0-394-72811-4 (1979-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Coon. N. The Dictionary of Useful Plants. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-090-x (1975-00-00)
  13. ? 13.013.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
  14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
  15. ? 15.015.115.215.315.415.515.6 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.116.216.3 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
  17. ? 17.017.1 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990-00-00)
  18. ? 18.018.1 Knight. F. P. Plants for Shade. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0-900629-78-9 (1980-00-00)
  19. ? 19.019.1 Brown. Shade Plants for Garden and Woodland. ()
  20. ? 20.020.1 Royal Horticultural Society. Ground Cover Plants. Cassells. ISBN 0-304-31089-1 (1989-00-00)
  21. ? 21.021.121.2 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
  22. ? 22.022.122.222.322.422.522.6 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
  23. ? 23.023.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  24. ? 24.024.124.2 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
  25. ? 25.025.1 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  26. ? 26.026.126.226.3 Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
  27. ? Natural Food Institute, Wonder Crops. 1987. ()
  28. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  29. ? Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)

"image:Gaultheria procumbens.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Gaultheria procumbens"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyEricaceae +
Belongs to genusGaultheria +
Functions asGround cover +
Has common nameCheckerberry +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part +, Fruit + and Leaves +
Has edible useSeasoning +, Unknown use + and Tea +
Has environmental toleranceDrought +
Has fertility typeSelf fertile + and Insects +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateModerate +
Has hardiness zone4 +
Has imageGaultheria procumbens.JPG +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useEssential +
Has mature height0.15 +
Has mature width1 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAnalgesic +, Antiinflammatory +, Aromatic +, Astringent +, Carminative +, Diuretic +, Emmenagogue +, Stimulant + and Tonic +
Has primary imageGaultheria procumbens.JPG +
Has search namegaultheria procumbens + and x +
Has shade tolerancePermanent shade +
Has soil ph preferenceVery acid +, Acid + and Neutral +
Has soil teloamyture preferenceLoamy +
Has soil tesandyture preferenceSandy +
Has sun preferencePartial sun +
Has taxonomy nameGaultheria procumbens +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheSoil surface +
Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +