The genus Gaultheria encompasses evergreen shrubs in 170 species from woodlands and moist, rocky areas of the Himalayas, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas. Foliage is leathery and sometimes glossy. The small bell-shaped flowers are followed by attractive, rounded fruit that resembles cherries or small apples. Grow in a woodland, rock garden, or as groundcover, depending on species.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsEvergreen, glossy leaves. Bell-shaped flowers and fleshy, round fruit. The fruit is edible, but the rest of the plant can cause mild stomach upset if eaten.
CareSite in partial shade and acidic to neutral, peaty, moist soil. If the soil is consistently moist, full sun may be acceptable.
PropagationSow seeds in a cold frame in fall. Take semi-ripe cuttings in summer. Remove rooted suckers in spring.
ProblemsFungal spots, leaf gall, black mildew, powdery mildew.