Brossaea nummulariodes Kuntze
Gaultheria nummulariae DC.
Gaultheria repens Blume
Pernettya repens Zoll. & Moritzi
Gaultheria nummularioides is a many-branched, prostrate, evergreen shrub; it can grow up to 10cm tall, spreading by underground shoots to form a clump 50cm or more wide[
The edible fruit is harvested from the wild and consumed locally. The plant is sometimes grown as a ground cover in gardens.
E. Asia - Himalayas from Himachel Pradesh to southwestern China and Myanmar, Indonesia.
Evergreen Pinus, Tsuga, Picea, or Abies forests, often on rocks and banks, rarely on trees; at elevations from 1,000 - 2,000, occasionally to 4,000 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Gaultheria nummularioides is a plant of moderate to high elevations in the tropics and subtropics. It only tolerates light and short-lived frosts[
]. It can be grown outdoors in the milder regions of the temperate zone[
]. It is said to not often fruit well in Britain[
], though the single plant in our garden in Cornwall, England (hardiness zone 8 - 9) flowered freely when less than 3 years old from seed, producing quite a few fruits[
Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in shade or semi-shade[
]. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[
] and a sheltered position[
The bruised leaves have a distinct cedar-like aroma[
]. The flowers are also aromatic[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A watery flavour[
]. The fruit is quite tasty raw, but it is small and rather fiddly to harvest[
]. The blue-purple or black, globose fruit is about 6 - 8mm in diameter[
]. As with most Gaultherias, it is actually the swollen, fleshy calyx that is eaten[
A good ground cover plant for shady positions[
]. A carpeting plant that roots as it spreads, it should be spaced about 60cm apart each way[
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[