Herb latin name: Gaultheria pumila leucocarpa


Synonyms: Arbutus leucocarpa, Pernettya andina, Pernettya gayana, Pernettya leucocarpa


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Edible parts of Gaultheria pumila leucocarpa:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is about 17 - 22mm in diameter.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
20 cm
(7 3/4 inch)

Flowering:
April
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Found as far south as latitude 42° south. Growing in the Andes, it is common on volcanic slopes where it grows up to the snow-line.

Other uses of Gaultheria pumila leucocarpa:

A useful ground cover for sun or light shade, it spreads rapidly.

Propagation of the herb:

The seed requires a period of cold stratification. Pre-chill for 4 - 10 weeks and then surface sow in a lime-free compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep the compost moist. The seed usually germinates well, usually within 1 - 2 months at 20C, but the seedlings are liable to damp off. It is important to water them with care and to ensure that they get plenty of ventilation. Watering them with a garlic infusion can also help to prevent damping of. 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 so might need some protection for their first few years outdoors. The leaves remain very small for the first few years. 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 a greenhouse until they are established. Plant them out in the summer. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.

Cultivation of Gaultheria pumila leucocarpa:

Found as far south as latitude 42° south. Growing in the Andes, it is common on volcanic slopes where it grows up to the snow-line.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Gaultheria pumila leucocarpa:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.