Andromeda adenothrix Miq.
Brossaea adenothrix (Maxim.) Kuntze
Diplycosia adenothrix (Miq.) Nakai
Gaultheria ovatifolia adenothrix (Miq.) T.Shimizu
Gaultheria ovatifolia leucocarpa (Makino) T.Shimizu
Gaultheria adenothrix is an evergreen shrub with ascending stems; it can grow 7- 30cm tall. Growing from prostrate, subterranean stems, the plant forms a cluster of growth[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a ground cover.
E. Asia - northern and central Japan
Coniferous woods and sub-alpine thickets in N. and C. Japan[
]. Edges of forests in more or less dry places; at elevations from 400 - 1,900 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Gaultheria adenothrix is native to northern and central Japan, where it can be found growing at elevations almost up to the tree line. However, it is often not very hardy in other parts of the temperate zone - in Britain, for example, it can suffer badly in severe winters[
Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in shade or semi-shade[
]. Plants fruit best in a somewhat sunny position. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[
The plant can make a good nesting place for mice, these mice then eat the bark of the stems in winter causing die-back.
This species is like a miniature version of Gaultheria shallon[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A sweet flavour. The red, fleshy fruit is about 6 - 8mm in diameter[
A useful ground cover plant for a position in semi-shade[
]. It should be spaced about 45cm apart each way[
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 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[
]. 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, mid summer 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[
]. Very easy, 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.