Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, oval to elliptical, 1 to 2 inches long, minutely serrated, thickened with a wintergreen odor when crushed, leaves appear whorled since they cluster at tips of plant; dark shiny green above, much paler below often with black dots.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small (1/4 inch), white, urn-shaped, hanging from short stems from leaf axils, appearing in mid to late summer.
Fruit: Red, round, 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, hanging beneath the leaves, mild wintergreen taste, ripen in late summer and persist into winter.
Twig: Slender, green turning brown with age.
Bark: Light brown.
Form: Low plant with a height of only 3 to 5 inches; stems shoot out of the ground and end in a tight cluster of leaves.
Looks like: partridgeberry
Additional Range Information: Gaultheria procumbens is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information