Herb latin name: Gaultheria macrostigma


Synonyms: Gaultheria antipoda microphylla, Gaultheria depressa microphylla, Gaultheria perplexa, Pernettya macrostigma


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Edible parts of Gaultheria macrostigma:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Fairly large. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
50 cm
(1 foot)

Flowering:
April
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Montane to lower sub-alpine open grassland and rocky places in North South and Stewart Islands from 39° and southwards.

Other uses of Gaultheria macrostigma:

A good ground cover for sun or light shade.

Propagation of the herb:

The seed requires a period of cold stratification. Pre-chill for 4 - 10 weeks and surface sow in a lime-free compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep moist. The seed usually germinates well, usually within 1 - 2 months at 20C, but the seedlings are liable to damp off. Watering them with care and making sure you give them plenty of ventilation will reduce this risk. Watering them with a garlic infusion can also help to prevent this. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are about 25mm tall and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. The seedlings are susceptible to spring frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 3 - 6cm long, July/August in a frame in a shady position. They form roots in late summer or spring. A good percentage usually take. Division in spring just before new growth begins. "Drop" the plants 12 months earlier by digging them up and replanting them deeper in the soil so that the branches are buried and can form roots. This works best in a sandy soil. It is best to pot up the divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse until they are established. Plant them out in the summer. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.

Cultivation of Gaultheria macrostigma:

Montane to lower sub-alpine open grassland and rocky places in North South and Stewart Islands from 39° and southwards.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Gaultheria macrostigma:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.