The Gaultheria procumbens plant is a native of North America woodland. It is a low growing shrub that can reach about 6 inches (15 cm) in height.
It carries bellshaped flowers of white in early summer and has attractive showy and edible red fruits in the winter. Plants prefer acidic woodland soils, such as those found in pinelands. The evergreen leaves are fragrant (the scent is known as oil of wintergreen).
Wintergreen photograph by Jason Hollinger.
The fruits are often referred to as teaberries and are edible. The taste is similar to Mentha mint species such as peppermint and spearmint. The leaves can be infused and used in herbal tea and their essential oils used as flavoring.
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