The Q&A Archives: Source for Teaberry (a.k.a. Wintergreen)

Question: I grew up on top of a mountain outside of Hazleton, PA about 70 miles north of this area (Hatfield and Warminster). We had lots of woods with teaberries growing wild. I have yet to find them to order. Do you have or know of a source to order plants? Can they be grown down here? (I would dig some up but do not have acess to them any longer). The teaberry plant is what they make teaberry flavored ice cream and gum from. It is a tiny plant. About one inch high with dark green leaves similar inshape to azalea leaves. Although it's a much darker intense green and single leaves on the only stem. The berries are white and turn pink and then a dark pinkish red color. A close match in color would be a radish. The berries are firm but soft in the center with white flesh. The size of the berry is about the size of a small blueberry but real round. They grow in the woods in the shade but also along the edge of the woods in the sun. I think one or two berries grow per plant. Each plant has perhaps several leaves on the one stem. As I said, they grow in abundance in Hazleton, PA and that area but I have never seen them down here or in any garden catalog. Gee, you don't know how much I appreciate your help. Over the past few years I have called different companies but no luck. Having the Internet is wonderful for searching! Thank you for any help. And you are right, my grandfather and family have been loyal customers for years! Piper Provost Hatfield, PA

Answer: Your teaberry plant sounds like the low growing groundcover found in forests called wintergreen (Gautheria procumbens). Its leaves are oval and shiny and have a winter green taste. The flowers are white or pinkish and fruits are bright red. The plant likes shade and is very hardy and found in many areas of the East. Plants are available through, Gardens of the Blue Ridge P.O. Box 10 Pineola, NC 28662 794-733-2417 Now you can do teaberry shuffle in style!!!

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