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Useful Temperate Plants

Gaultheria pumila

(L.f.) D.J.Middleton

Ericaceae

+ Synonyms

Andromeda empetrifolia Lam.

Arbutus empetrifolia Lam.

Arbutus pumila G.Forst.

Arbutus pumila L.f.

Pernettya andina F.Meigen

Pernettya breviflora Phil.

Pernettya crassifolia Phil.

Pernettya empetrifolia leucocarpa (DC.) Wedd.

Pernettya gayana (DC.) Decne.

Pernettya leucocarpa DC.

Pernettya pumila (L.f.) Hook.

Pernettya pumila empetrifolia (Lam.) Hook.

Pernettya trinervia Gand.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Gaultheria pumila is a low-growing, evergreen shrub spreading by means of underground stems to form a dense cluster 15 - 20cm tall[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
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.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
69
Title
Flora of Tierra del Fuego.
Publication
 
Author
Moore. D. M.
Publisher
Anthony Nelson.
Year
1983
ISBN
0-904614-05-0
Description
Standard work for this part of S. America. Excellent details of habitat and a few notes on plant uses.

Range

S. America - Falklands, southern Chile.

Habitat

Heath, bogs, swamps, open wet places and woods to 900 metres, north to latitude 50° south in Chile[
69
Title
Flora of Tierra del Fuego.
Publication
 
Author
Moore. D. M.
Publisher
Anthony Nelson.
Year
1983
ISBN
0-904614-05-0
Description
Standard work for this part of S. America. Excellent details of habitat and a few notes on plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height0.05 m
Growth RateSlow
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Gaultheria pumila is a fairly cold-tolerant plant, able to withstand occasional temperatures falling as low as -10°c.
Requires a light moist but well-drained humus-rich lime-free soil in sun or semi-shade[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
Grows well in a rock garden[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
Fruits are produced abundantly on plants growing in the wild[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Used like huckleberries[
69
Title
Flora of Tierra del Fuego.
Publication
 
Author
Moore. D. M.
Publisher
Anthony Nelson.
Year
1983
ISBN
0-904614-05-0
Description
Standard work for this part of S. America. Excellent details of habitat and a few notes on plant uses.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. The fruit is up to 22mm in diameter[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

A useful ground cover for sun or light shade, it spreads rapidly. (var leucocarpa)

Other Uses

None known

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
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. 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
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. 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
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. 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
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
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[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. 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[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. It is best to pot up the divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are established. Plant them out in the summer.
Layering in September/early autumn. Takes 12 months[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].

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