Wintergreen, checkerberry,
teaberry, thé-des-bois
• Legend and Lore • In the Garden

Gaultheria procumbens


  • Native to Eastern North America
  • Perennial- Zone 3
  • Low growing - 8cm
  • Woodlands and mountains
  • Blooms in the summer

Legend and Lore

Wintergreen is in the heather family which comprises of lime hating plants that thrive in acidic soils. Cranberries and blueberries are part of this family of plants. Traditionally used by Canada’s First Nation as a healing tea and externally for its painkilling properties. Oil of wintergreen is used in candies, chewing gum. Gaultheria was named after Jean-François Gaulthier, a physician and botanist who worked in Canada (1708-1756) procumbens for lying flat on the ground or creeping habit.

In the Garden

Prefers sandy soils, partial shade, evergreen shrub producing stiff branches, leaves are oval, glossy, leathery and when crushed releases its strong aromatic wintergreen smell. White droopy flowers appear early summer followed by edible red berries. Propagate by layering or cuttings. Harvest leaves anytime, berries in the fall throughout winter.

In the Kitchen