Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

Plantae>Magnoliophyta>Magnoliopsida>Ericales>Ericaceae>Gaultheria procumbens L.

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

Also known as Teaberry, this low ground-covering subshrub has alternate evergreen leaves that are very pleasantly fragrant when crushed (smelling of wintergreen, naturally), making for easy identification. The aroma of the crushed leaves is similar to that of Sweet Birch (Betula lenta), but more intense. Wintergreen occurs throughout North Carolina, but is most common in the Mountains and eastern Coastal Plain.

Bladen Co., NC 3/25/07.

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

The bright red berries last throughout the winter.

Bladen Co., NC 3/25/07.

More information:
Natural history of the northwoods
Paghat
Virginia Tech Dendrology

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina

cwcook@duke.edu

All photographs and text ©2011 by Will Cook unless otherwise indicated