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.
Gaultheria pumila is a low-growing, evergreen shrub spreading by means of underground stems to form a dense cluster 15 - 20cm tall[
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.
S. America - Falklands, southern Chile.
Heath, bogs, swamps, open wet places and woods to 900 metres, north to latitude 50° south in Chile[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
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[
Grows well in a rock garden[
Fruits are produced abundantly on plants growing in the wild[
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Used like huckleberries[
]. The fruit is up to 22mm in diameter[
A useful ground cover for sun or light shade, it spreads rapidly. (var leucocarpa)
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. '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 a greenhouse until they are established. Plant them out in the summer.
Layering in September/early autumn. Takes 12 months[