Gaultheria procumbens Information

Gaultheria procumbens, also known as eastern teaberry, checkerberry, or wintergreen, is a small evergreen shrub in the Ericaceae family. It is native to eastern North America and can be found growing in acidic soil in forests and along the edges of swamps.

The leaves of Gaultheria procumbens are glossy and dark green, and the plant produces small, bell-shaped, white or pinkish flowers in late spring or early summer. The fruit is a bright red, edible berry that ripens in the fall and is enjoyed by birds and other wildlife.

One of the most notable features of Gaultheria procumbens is its distinct wintergreen aroma, which comes from the essential oil contained in the leaves. This oil has been used for centuries in Native American traditional medicine and is still used today in modern medicine and commercial products like toothpaste and chewing gum.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Gaultheria procumbens has also been used for culinary purposes. The leaves and berries can be used to flavor candies, syrups, and other confections.

Overall, Gaultheria procumbens is a fascinating and useful plant that has a long history of human use and is still valued today for its unique aroma and medicinal properties.