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Gaultheria fragrantissima - Wall.

Common Name Fragrant Wintergreen
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forests and shrubberies[51], usually on dry slopes[146], at elevations of 1200 - 2700 metres in the Himalayas.
Range E. Asia - N. India to Sri Lanka and Malaya.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Gaultheria fragrantissima Fragrant Wintergreen


Gaultheria fragrantissima Fragrant Wintergreen

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Gaultheria fragrantissima is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

G. ovalifolia.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Fruit - raw or cooked[105, 146, 183, 272]. The purplish-blue fruit is about 8mm in diameter[200]. Leaves - raw. Chewed[105] (to relieve thirst?). An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used as a flavouring[240, 243]. A tea is made from the leaves[177, 183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiseptic;  Aromatic;  Carminative;  Stimulant;  Vermifuge.

The essential oil obtained from the leaves is antiseptic, aromatic, carminative and stimulant[240, 243]. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, scabies and neuralgia[240, 243, 272]. It is also taken internally in the treatment of hook worms[243]. The juice of the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs[272]. Both the juice and the whole leaves are usd as an anthelmintic that is effective against hookworms[272]. The unripe fruits are chewed or made into a juice to treat stomach troubles[272].

Other Uses

Essential.

The leaves yield around 1.25% of an essential oil, this is a wintergreen substitute and it is used in perfumery, as a hair oil and medicinally[46, 51, 61, 146, 240].

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in shade or semi-shade[11, 182]. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[11, 182]. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it only succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of the country[200]. It grows well in Cornwall[11]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. The bruised leaves have a powerful camphor-like scent[245]. The flowers are scented like lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)[245]. This species is highly variable in the size and shape of leaves. In general these varieties are the result of habitat differences. If in forest understories or at forest margins, it is a large shrub or small tree with large leaves. If on sunny slopes or among thickets, it is often a small shrub with narrow leaves[266].

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]. 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]. 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]. 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]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 3 - 6cm long, July/August in a frame in a shady position. They form roots in late summer or spring[78]. A good percentage usually take. Division in spring just before new growth begins[200]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Gaultheria adenothrix 30
Gaultheria antipodaSnowberry20
Gaultheria appressaWhite Waxberry20
Gaultheria cumingiana 22
Gaultheria depressaMountain Snowberry20
Gaultheria griffithianum 20
Gaultheria hispidaSnowberry21
Gaultheria hispidulaCreeping Snowberry41
Gaultheria humifusaAlpine Wintergreen, Alpine spicywintergreen40
Gaultheria insana 11
Gaultheria japonicaCreeping Snowberry41
Gaultheria macrostigma 20
Gaultheria mucronataPrickly heath40
Gaultheria myrsinoides 20
Gaultheria nummularioides 20
Gaultheria ovatifoliaMountain Checkerberry, Western teaberry30
Gaultheria procumbensCheckerberry, Eastern teaberry, Teaberry, Creeping Wintergreen43
Gaultheria pumila 20
Gaultheria pumila leucocarpa 20
Gaultheria pyroliifolia 20
Gaultheria pyroloides 30
Gaultheria rigida 10
Gaultheria sclelophylla 20
Gaultheria shallonShallon, Salal52
Gaultheria trichophylla 20
Gaultheria x wisleyensis 20

 

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Expert comment

Author

Wall.

Botanical References

1151200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

sheetal shah   Wed Jan 11 2006

sheetalmedical essential oil cinnamon leaf oil, lemongrass oil

vijay   Sat Feb 11 2006

elsver Chromosome number of Gaultheria fragrantissima

Vijay Kulkarni.   Fri Aug 29 2008

It is a source of natural Methyl Salicylate. In India it is known as Gandhapura Oil(Methyl Salicylate)

Nagaraj BN   Tue Sep 16 2008

I am having the photo of the plant

Kailash Dixit   Wed Jul 22 2009

Please view the GC/MS of Nepalese Gaultheria fragrantissima below: source: www.essencenepal.com ALPHAPINENE 0.40% MYRCENE 0.20% DELTA-3-CARENE 0.90% LIMONENE 0.50% METHYL SALICYLATE 97.40% 3, 7 GUAIADIENE 0.10% DELTACADINENE 0.30%

Aarya Aroma

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Subject : Gaultheria fragrantissima  
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