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Gaultheria procumbens
  • RHS AGM

checkerberry

G. procumbens is a dwarf evergreen shrub to 15cm in height, spreading indefinitely, with rounded leathery leaves, aromatic when crushed and turning reddish in winter. Small, bell-shaped white or pinkish flowers are followed by scarlet berries 10mm in width

Other common names
American mountain tea
aromatic wintergreen
see moreboxberry
Canada tea
canterberry
chequerberry
chickenberry
chinks
creeping checkerberry
creeping wintergreen
creeping wintergreen checkerberry
drunkards
gingerberry
ground tea
groundberry
grouseberry
one-berry
partridge berry
procalm
red pollom
spiceberry
spicy wintergreen checkerberry
spring wintergreen
squaw plum
squaw vine
squawberry
tea leaves
teaberry
wintergreen
wintergreen oil plant
youngsters

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring
Summer Pink White Red
Autumn Red
Winter Red
Position
  • Full shade
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or East–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Ericaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Suckering
Potentially harmful
All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Genus

Gaultheria are evergreen, often dioecious, shrubs with simple, leathery leaves and small, bell-shaped white or pink flowers, followed by long lasting fleshy fruits in various colours

Name status

Correct

Plant range
E N America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist soils in shade or partial shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Rock garden
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Patio and container plants
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Banks and slopes
Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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