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Gaultheria japonica - (A.Gray.)Sleumer.

Common Name Creeping Snowberry
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Mossy grounds under conifers at elevations of 1600 - 2000 metres[275].
Range E. Asia - central and northern Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Semi-shade
Gaultheria japonica Creeping Snowberry


Gaultheria japonica Creeping Snowberry

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Gaultheria japonica is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. 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 semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

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

Fruit - raw or cooked. Pleasantly acid and refreshing[3, 101], with a delicate flavour of wintergreen[183]. An agreeable sub-acid taste, similar to G. shallon[2, 11]. They can be made into delicious preserves[183]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[200]. Leaves - raw or cooked[207]. The leaves are used to make a tea[2, 95, 161, 257]. A mild flavour of wintergreen[183]. Said to be superior to china tea[207].

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.

Cancer.

The plant is said to remove the cancerous taint from the body[4]. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a tonic for a person who has overeaten[257].

Other Uses

A useful fast growing ground cover plant for shady positions.

Cultivation details

Prefers a moist but not boggy humus rich soil in shade or semi-shade[11]. A peat and moisture loving species, it requires a lime-free soil[11]. A fast growing plant[200]. The plant can make a good nesting place for mice, these mice then eat the bark of the stems in winter causing die-back. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Gaultheria japonica bears a close resemblance to G. hispidula (L.) Bigelow of N. America and sometimes treated as a variety or subspecies of the latter. G. japonica, however, has calyx much longer than the bracteoles, ovate and acute calyx lobes, and shorter anther projections. In G. hispidula the calyx is as long as or slightly longer than the bracteoles, the calyx lobes are broadly ovate and obtuse or subacute, and the anthers have distinct projections.

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 fragrantissimaFragrant Wintergreen22
Gaultheria griffithianum 20
Gaultheria hispidaSnowberry21
Gaultheria hispidulaCreeping Snowberry41
Gaultheria humifusaAlpine Wintergreen, Alpine spicywintergreen40
Gaultheria insana 11
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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Author

(A.Gray.)Sleumer.

Botanical References

11200275

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Subject : Gaultheria japonica  
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