Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Rob Routledge, Sault College, Bugwood.org.

Eastern teaberry

Scientific name
Gaultheria procumbens
Also Known As
Checkerberry, Deerberry, Wiinisiibag (Ojibwe), Wintergreen
Plant Family
Plant Group
Known as wiinisiibag by the Ojibwe. A low, woody ground cover, teaberry has oval, shiny, dark green leaves, white, bell-shaped, nodding flowers with aromatic red berries following the flowers.
Identification Hints

A low, woody ground cover (2-6 in. tall), teaberry bears 1-2 in. long, oval, shiny, dark green leaves which turn reddish with the advent of cold weather. The creeping stem of this low, evergreen plant has upright branches with white, bell-shaped, nodding flowers, solitary or in groups of 2 or 3 with aromatic red berries following the flowers.

Did You Know?

When crushed, the leaves of this plant give off a distinctively "wintergreen" smell, hence the other common name Wintergreen. Eastern teaberry fruits are consumed by deer, grouse, and other wild game. The plant spreads primarily by rhizomes (horizonal, spreading roots). Traditionally a decoction of the whole plant was taken in spring and fall as a tonic to keep the blood in good order. The plant was also used to treat colds.

States
AL, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV