Gaultheria hispidula (Creeping Snowberry) - photos and description








Stems bristly with reddish hairs

Leaf undersides and margins with a few bristly, reddish hairs

General: Prostrate plant forming matted carpets on the forest floor. When observed with a loupe, stems are bristly with reddish hairs.

Flowers: Flowers are few, single, white-coloured, have 4 petals, grow from leaf axils, drooping, bell-shaped. We measured a flower at 4 mm wide and 3 mm long.

Leaves: Leaves are glossy, dark green above, lighter below. Leaves are alternate, elliptic to rotund, with short petioles. We measured a leaf at 7 mm long by 5 mm wide. Leaf margins and undersides are bristly with red hairs. The leaves smell like spearmint when crushed, and taste like spearmint when chewed.

Height: Budd's Flora lists the length of stems to 40 cm, we measured stems to 20 cm long.

Habitat: Damp, mossy, coniferous woods in the boreal forest.

Abundance: Has been given an S4? ranking (= fairly common, maybe?) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre. We have only seen this plant in a couple of locations.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos June 16th, moist, mossy black spruce woods, Porcupine Provincial Forest, about 450 km northeast of our home in Regina, SK.