Brossaea trichophylla (Royle) Kuntze
Gaultheria eciliata (Rae & D.G.Long) P.W.Fritsch & L.H.Zhou
Gaultheria nana C.Y.Wu & T.Z.Hsu
Gaultheria trichophylla is a low-growing, evergreen shrub, spreading by means of underground shoots to form a dense cluster of growth 7 - 15cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens, valued especially for its attractive blue fruits[
E. Asia - southwest China (Sichuan, Yunnan, Xizang). Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, northern Myanmar
A creeping shrub in alpine pastures[
], growing on rocks and banks; at elevations up to 4,500 metres[
]. Mountain slopes, alpine windswept moorlands, montane grasslands, rocky places, stony soils; at elevations from 3,000 - 4,700 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Gaultheria trichophylla is native to the Himalayas, where it can be found at elevations up to 4, 700 metres. Although it often experiences frost and snow in its native range, it does not always prove very hardy in cultivation, generally tolerating temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in sun or semi-shade[
]. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[
]. Prefers a fairly light open position so long as the soil is kept moist[
This species does not always fruit well in cultivation[
The plant can make a good nesting place for mice, these mice then eat the bark of the stems in winter causing die-back.
The bruised leaves release a hot, aromatic fragrance[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The blue, occasionally purplish-red, ovoid fruit is about 10 - 12mm long and 6mm wide[
A useful ground cover for shady places.
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 when new growth is about 7cm tall. Divided plants can be rather slow to get established[
]. We have found that it is best to pot up the clumps and grow them on in a shady position in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.