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Gaultheria fragrantissima - Wall.

Common Name Fragrant Wintergreen
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forests and shrubberies[51], usually on dry slopes[146], at elevations of 1200 - 2700 metres in the Himalayas.
Range E. Asia - N. India to Sri Lanka and Malaya.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Gaultheria fragrantissima Fragrant Wintergreen


Gaultheria fragrantissima Fragrant Wintergreen

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Gaultheria fragrantissima is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

G. ovalifolia.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment  Tea

Fruit - raw or cooked[105, 146, 183, 272]. The purplish-blue fruit is about 8mm in diameter[200]. Leaves - raw. Chewed[105] (to relieve thirst?). An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used as a flavouring[240, 243]. A tea is made from the leaves[177, 183].

References

Medicinal Uses

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Antiseptic  Aromatic  Carminative  Stimulant  Vermifuge

The essential oil obtained from the leaves is antiseptic, aromatic, carminative and stimulant[240, 243]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, scabies and neuralgia[240, 243, 272]. It is also taken internally in the treatment of hook worms[243]. The juice of the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs[272]. Both the juice and the whole leaves are usd as an anthelmintic that is effective against hookworms[272]. The unripe fruits are chewed or made into a juice to treat stomach troubles[272].

References

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Other Uses

Essential

The leaves yield around 1.25% of an essential oil, this is a wintergreen substitute and it is used in perfumery, as a hair oil and medicinally[46, 51, 61, 146, 240].

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in shade or semi-shade[11, 182]. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[11, 182]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it only succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of the country[200]. It grows well in Cornwall[11]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. The bruised leaves have a powerful camphor-like scent[245]. The flowers are scented like lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)[245]. This species is highly variable in the size and shape of leaves. In general these varieties are the result of habitat differences. If in forest understories or at forest margins, it is a large shrub or small tree with large leaves. If on sunny slopes or among thickets, it is often a small shrub with narrow leaves[266].

References

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Propagation

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[78]. The seed usually germinates well, usually within 1 - 2 months at 20°c, 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[K]. 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[K]. 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[11]. 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[78]. A good percentage usually take. Division in spring just before new growth begins[200]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Gaultheria adenothrix Shrub0.3 8-11  LMFSM304
Gaultheria antipodaSnowberryShrub1.2 8-11  LMFSM20 
Gaultheria appressaWhite WaxberryShrub2.0 -  LMSNM20 
Gaultheria cumingiana Shrub3.0 9-11  LMSM22 
Gaultheria depressaMountain SnowberryShrub0.1 8-11  LMSNM20 
Gaultheria griffithianum Shrub1.8 -  LMSNM20 
Gaultheria hispidaSnowberryShrub0.9 8-11  LMSM21 
Gaultheria hispidulaCreeping SnowberryShrub0.1 5-9 FLMSMWe414
Gaultheria humifusaAlpine Wintergreen, Alpine spicywintergreenShrub0.1 6-9  LMSNM403
Gaultheria insana Shrub0.5 5-9  LMHSNM11 
Gaultheria japonicaCreeping SnowberryShrub0.1 5-9 FLMSMWe413
Gaultheria macrostigma Shrub0.5 7-10  LMSM20 
Gaultheria mucronataPrickly heathShrub1.5 5-9  LMSNM403
Gaultheria myrsinoides Shrub0.2 8-11  LMSNM20 
Gaultheria nummularioides Shrub0.1 8-11  LMSNM20 
Gaultheria ovatifoliaMountain Checkerberry, Western teaberryShrub0.2 5-9  LMFSM303
Gaultheria procumbensCheckerberry, Eastern teaberry, Teaberry, Creeping WintergreenShrub0.2 3-6 MLMFSDM434
Gaultheria pumila Shrub0.1 6-9 SLMSNM20 
Gaultheria pumila leucocarpa Shrub0.2 6-9  LMSNM20 
Gaultheria pyroliifolia Shrub0.2 5-9 SLMFSM20 
Gaultheria pyroloides Shrub0.3 5-9  LMSM30 
Gaultheria rigida Shrub0.0 -  LMFSM10 
Gaultheria sclelophylla Shrub0.0 -  LMFSM20 
Gaultheria shallonShallon, SalalShrub1.2 8-11 MLMFSNDM523
Gaultheria trichophylla Shrub0.1 7-10  LMSNM20 
Gaultheria x wisleyensis Shrub1.0 5-9  LMFSM20 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

Wall.

Botanical References

1151200

Links / References

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Readers comment

Vijay Kulkarni.   Fri Aug 29 2008

It is a source of natural Methyl Salicylate. In India it is known as Gandhapura Oil(Methyl Salicylate)

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