Gaultheria procumbens – Teaberry

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Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) is a native, low growing evergreen shrub that can be found across North America. 
Teaberry, also known as American wintergreen, can be found in areas with acidic soil and abundant rain. It grows in dense carpets, spreading by rhizomes.
Teaberry has leathery evergreen leaves. The plant produces white or light pink bell-shaped flowers in late summer that become pinkish red berries in the fall. Berries have 1-5 small seeds and a depressed end. The flesh is white and spongy.
Teaberry leaves, stems, and berries are edible. Leaves and berries have a wintergreen flavor. The leaves can be harvested year-round. Berries are best harvested fall-spring.
Teaberry has been used medicinally to treat colds, headache, stomachs ache, and rheumatism. The plant contains methyl salicylate which is similar to aspirin. Leaves have traditionally been chewed for pain relief.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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