Herb latin name: Gaultheria nummularioides
Synonyms: Gaultheria nummularia
Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Edible parts of Gaultheria nummularioides:Fruit - raw or cooked. A watery flavour. The fruit is quite tasty raw, but it is small and rather fiddly to harvest. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Evergreen Pinus, Tsuga, Picea, or Abies forests, often on rocks and banks, rarely on trees at elevations of 1000 - 2000, occasionally to 4000 metres.
Other uses of Gaultheria nummularioides:A good ground cover plant for shady positions. A carpeting plant that roots as it spreads, it should be spaced about 60cm apart each way.
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 20°C, but the seedlings are liable to damp off. Watering them with care and making sure they get ample ventilation will reduce this risk. Watering them with a garlic infusion can help to prevent damping off. 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 and so it might be wise to give them some protection in their first spring or two outdoors. 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 a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are established. Plant them out in the summer. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.
Cultivation of Gaultheria nummularioides:Evergreen Pinus, Tsuga, Picea, or Abies forests, often on rocks and banks, rarely on trees at elevations of 1000 - 2000, occasionally to 4000 metres.
Medicinal use of the herb:None known
Known hazards of Gaultheria nummularioides:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.