Arbutus mucronata L.f.
Brossaea mucronata (L.f.) Kuntze
Brossaea philippiana Kuntze
Pernettya angustifolia Lindl.
Pernettya leucocarpa linearis Reiche
Pernettya litoralis Phil.
Pernettya mucronata (L.f.) Gaudich. ex Spreng.
Pernettya oblongifolia Hombr.
Pernettya ovalifolia Hombr.
Pernettya philippii Gand.
Pernettya rupicola Phil.
Gaultheria mucronata is an evergreen shrub growing 60 - 150cm tall. Spreading freely by means of suckers, it ultimately forms a dense, low thicket[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is commonly grown as an ornamental, where it can be grown as a hedge and a ground cover - it is valued especially for its attractive fruit, there are many named forms[
S. America - S. Chile, S. Argentina.
Open wet Nothfagus and Drimys forest, dominant or co-dominant with Chiliotrichum in shrub communities fringing forests above high water mark and in transition to swamps and bogs from sea level to 700m
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Gaultheria mucronata is one of the hardiest of South American shrubs and is able to tolerate temperatures down to about -20°c[
Requires a light well-drained lime-free soil[
]. Requires a moist acid soil according to another report[
]. Prefers a sunny position[
] but succeeds in light shade though it fruits less well in such a position[
Plants spread quite freely, forming thickets by means of suckers[
Plants sometimes have hermaphrodite flowers but are usually dioecious[
] and at least one male plant is required for every 5 or 6 females if fruit is required.
A very ornamental shrub, there are many named varieties[
]. 'Davis's Hybrids' is said to be hermaphrodite[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The lilac-coloured fruit does not look tremendously edible, and the texture is somewhat like polystyrene - but the fruit of some forms is juicy, almost melts in the mouth, has a very pleasant slightly sweet flavour and makes a very good dessert fruit[
]. The fruit can vary in colour from pure white to pink, lilac, crimson, and purple, or almost black; it can be 8 - 12mm in diameter[
The plant can be used to make a low hedge[
A good ground cover plant for a sunny position, forming dense thickets[
]. They are best spaced about 60cm apart each way[
]. Plants can be cut back in the spring if they are becoming too lanky and open in growth[
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, 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. '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/early autumn. Takes 12 months[