Genus: Gaultheria

Gaultheria procumbens  L.
Gaultheria procumbens L.


Photo by ©Peter Nelson, 1958, taken in Greenfield, Mass.

By Steven Clemants

Not peer reviewed

Last Modified 02/06/2013

Back to Ericaceae


Gaultheria L., Sp. Pl. 1: 395. 1753. Gen. Pl., ed 5, 187, 1754. TYPE: Gaultheria procumbens L.

Chiogenes Salisb., Trans. Hort. Soc. London 2: 94. 1817. Glyciphylla Raf., Amer. Monthly Mag. & Crit. Rev. 4(3): 192. 1819, nom. illeg. (Art. 52.1). Schollera Steud., Nomencl. Bot. 1: 746. 1821, nom. illeg. (Art. 52.1). Phalerocarpus G. Don, Gen. Hist. 3: 841. 1834, nom. illeg. (Art. 52.1). Lasierpa Torr., [Annual Rep. Geol. Surv. 1839] State of New York, Documents of Assembly no. 50: 152. 1840, nom. illeg. (Art. 52.1). TYPE: Chiogenes serpyllifolia (Pursh) Salisb. (=Gaultheria hispidulum (L.) Muhl.).

Key to the species of Gaultheria

1. Leaves 3-9 mm long, with scattered multicellular-multiserriate hairs beneath...Gaultheria hispidula
1. Leaves 1.7-4.1 mm long, glabrous or puberulent along midveins...Gaultheria procumbens

List of Gaultheria Species

References to Gaultheria

  • Alexander, E. J. 1927. Gaultheria procumbens. Addisonia 12: 53-4.
  • Bell, H. P.; Burchill, J. 1955. Winter resting stages of certain Ericaceae. Canad. J. Bot. 33: 547-61.
  • Bergman, H. F. 1920. Internal stomata in ericaceous and other unrelated fruits. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 47: 213-21.
  • Brown, R. T. 1967. Influence of naturally occurring compounds on germination and growth of jack pine. Ecology 48: 542-6. (Also discussions on Cornus, Gaultheria, & Prunus)
  • Bush, C. M. 2009. Phylogeny of Gaultherieae (Ericaceae: Vaccinioideae) based on DNA sequence data from matK, ndhF, and nrlITS. Int. J. Plant Sci. 170: 355-364.
  • Cafferty, S.; Jarvis, C. E. 2002. Typification of Linnaean plant names in Ericaceae. Taxon 51: 751-753.
  • Chou, Y. L. 1952. Floral morphology of three species of Gaultheria. Bot. Gaz. 114(1): 198-221.
  • Cipollini, M. L.; Stiles, E. W. 1992. Antifungal activity of ripe ericaceous fruits: Phenolic-acid interactions and palatability for dispersers. Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 20: 501-14.
  • Cipollini, M. L.; Stiles, E. W. 1993. Fruit rot, antifungal defense, and palatability of fleshy fruits for frugivorous birds. Ecology 74: 751-62.
  • Cipollini, M. L.; Stiles, E. W. 1992. Relative risks of fungal rot for temperate ericaceous fruits: effects of seasonal variation on selection for chemical defense. Canad. J. Bot. 70(9): 1868-77.
  • Coladoanto, M. 1994. Gaultheria procumbens. ()
  • Cook, D. B.; Hamilton, W. J. 1944. The ecological relationships of red fox food in eastern New York. Ecology 25(1): 91-104.
  • Cox, H. T. 1948. Studies in the comparative anatomy of the Ericales. II. Ericaceae - subfamily Arbutoideae. Amer. Midl. Naturalist 40: 493-516.
  • Dimock, E. J.; Johnston, W. F.; Stein, W. I. 1974. Gaultheria. In: Seeds of Woody Plants in the Unites States. USDA, Forest Service, Washington. , 561-3 pages.
  • Dome, A. P. 1996. Gaultherias native to temperate North America. Rock Gard. Quart. 54(1): 42-50.
  • Fernald, M. L. 1920. Gaultheria procumbens L., forma suborbiculata, n. f. Rhodora 22(261): 155-6.
  • Fernald, M. L. 1934. Gaultheria procumbens L. forma accrescens, f. nov. Rhodora 36(424): 129.
  • Flinn, M. A.; Pringle, J. K. 1983. Heat tolerance of rhizomes of several understory species. Canad. J. Bot. 61: 452-7.
  • Fritsch, P. W. 2011. Phylogenetic analysis of the wintergreen group (Ericaceae) based on six genic regions. Syst. Bot. 36: 990-1003.
  • Hagerup, O. 1928. Morphological and cytological studies of Bicornes. Dansk Bot. Ark. 6: 1-27.
  • Hancy, A. J. 1916. The vascular anatomy of certain Ericaceous flowers. M.A. Thesis Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY37 figs. + 20 p.
  • Heinrich, B. 1976. Resource partitioning among some eusocial insects: Bumblebees. Ecology 57(5): 874-89.
  • Hermann, P. M.; Palser, B. F. 2000. Stamen development in the Ericaceae. I. Anther wall, microsporogenesis, inversion, and appendages. Amer. J. Bot. 87: 934-957.
  • Holm, T. 1908. Medicinal plants of North America. 11. Gaultheria procumbens L. Merck Rep. 17: 1-14.
  • Kron, K. A. 1996. Phylogenetic relationships of Empetraceae, Epacridaceae, Ericaceae, Monotropaceae, and Pyrolaceae: evidence from nuclear ribosomal 18s sequence data. Ann. Bot. (UK) 77(4): 293-303.
  • Kron, K. A.; Chase, M. W. 1993. Systematics of the Ericaceae, Empetraceae, Epacridaceae and related taxa based upon rbcL sequence data. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 80: 735-41.
  • Kron, K. A.; Judd, W. S. 1997. Systematics of the Lyonia group (Andromedeae, Ericaceae) and the use of species as terminals in higher-level cladistic analyses. Syst. Bot. 22: 479-92.
  • Kron, K. A.; Judd, W. S.; Crayn, D. M. 1999. Phylogenetic analysis of Andromedaea (Ericaceae subfam. Vaccinioideae). Amer. J. Bot. 86: 1290-1300.
  • Lovell, J. H. 1898. The insect visitors of flowers. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 25: 382-390.
  • Luteyn, J. L.; Clemants, Steven E.; et al. 1996. Ericaceae of the southeastern United States. Castanea 61(2): 101-44.
  • MacKeever, F. C. 1961. An albino fruited form of Gaultheria procumbens. Rhodora 63: 346-7.
  • Massicotte, H. B. 2005. Structural characteristics of root-fungal interactions for five ericaceous species in eastern Canada. Canad. J. Bot. 83: 1057-1064.
  • Matlack, G. R.; Gibson, D. J.; Good, R. E. 1992. Clonal propagation, local disturbance, and the structure of vegetation: ericaceous shrubs in the pine barrens of New Jersey. Biol. Conserv. 63: 1-8.
  • Middleton, D. J. 1993. A systematic survey of leaf and stem anatomical characters in the genus Gaultheria and related genera (Ericaceae). J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 113: 199-215.
  • Middleton, D. J. 1991. Taxonomic studies in the Gaultheria group of genera of the tribe Andromedeae (Ericaceae). Edinburgh J. Bot. 48: 283-306.
  • Middleton, D. J. 1991. Infrageneric classification of the genus Gaultheria L. (Ericaceae). J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 106: 229-58.
  • Middleton, D. J. 1991. Ecology, reproductive biology and hybridization in Gaultheria L. Edinburgh J. Bot. 48: 81-9.
  • Middleton, D. J. 1992. A chemotaxonomic survey of flavonoids and simple phenols in the leaves of Gaultheria L. and related genera (Ericaceae). J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 110(4): 313-24.
  • Middleton, D. J.; Wilcock, C. C. 1990. Chromosome counts in Gaultheria and related genera. Edinburgh J. Bot. 47: 303-13.
  • Mirick, S.; Quinn, J. A. 1981. Some observations on the reproductive biology of Gaultheria procumbens (Ericaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 68: 1298-305.
  • Nelson, G. L. 1978. Notes on the chromosome number of Gaultheria procumbens L. (Ericaceae). Rhodora 80(824): 594-5.
  • Nesom, G. L. 1978. Notes on the chromosome number of Gaultheria procumbens L. (Ericaceae). Rhodora 80(824): 594-5.
  • Newcomer, E. H. 1941. Chromosome numbers of some species and varieties of Vaccinium and related genera. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 38: 468-70.
  • Palser, B. F. 1958. Studies of floral morphology in the Ericales. IV. Observations on three members of the Gaultherieae. Trans. Illinois State Acad. Sci. 51: 24-34.
  • Paratley, R. D. 1986. Vegetation-environment relations in a conifer swamp in central New York. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 113: 357-371.
  • Peltrisot, C-N. 1904. Developpement et structure de la graine chez les Ericacees. J. Bot. (Morot) 18: 309-67, 386-402. (In French)
  • Powell, E. A.; Kron, K. A. 2001. An analysis of the phylogenetic relationships in the wintergreen group (Diplycosia, Gaultheria, Pernettya, Tepuia; Ericaceae). Syst. Bot. 26: 808-817.
  • Reader, R. J. 1977. Bog ericad flowers: self-compatibility and relative attractiveness to bees. Canad. J. Bot. 55: 2279-87.
  • Sims, J. 1818. Gaultheria procumbens. Bot. Mag. 45: pl. 1966.
  • Stephenson, S. L.; Mills, H. H. 1999. Contrasting vegetation of noses and hollows in the Valley and Ridge province, southwestern Virginia. J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 126: 197-212.
  • Wherry, Edgar T. 1920. Observations on the soil acidity of Ericaceae and associated plants in the Middle Atlantic states. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 72: 84-111.
  • Young, J. A.; Young, C. G. 1992. Gaultheria. In: Seeds of Woody Plants in North America. Dioscorides Press, Portland. , 162-3 pages.