Hardiness: USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F) USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F) USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Partial to Full Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen Aromatic
Other details: Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: By dividing the rootball Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On May 14, 2013, dmith7777 from East Brookfield, MA wrote:
This plant absolutely must be planted in acidic woodland debris type soil, It will not tolerate, lime, fertiliser, ashes, manure, city water, mineralized well water, or full hot sun, subjecting this plant to any of these things will kill it fairly rapidly.
Also this plant is not poisonous by any means, I have eaten thousands of the leaves, stems and berries with no problems.
On Oct 26, 2009, MissyMc from Germantown, TN wrote:
An evergreen creeper with small white flowers in the spring and lovely red berries in the fall - a very nice accent plant. However, this is a very particular plant, and once it's gone it's gone. In one area of my yard it's spreading and doing great and in another I cannot keep them alive. But I like the look, so I keep trying.
On Dec 5, 2007, MossyHillManor from Hyattsville, MD wrote:
So far, so good. I planted a patch in spring. They grew nicely, so added a few more in the fall. They are growing, but very slowly-- sending up a few runners. It's now December, and they have berries and are turning a bit purple. They are very, very pretty.
Unfortunately, I have clay soil. I ammended the soil at planting, and I have mulched with pine bark. I plan to add compost this coming spring.
After all the stories I have heard about how hard it is to grow, I am especially pleased at their appearance and growth. We'll see how they continue. They are native to this area (Maryland) so I at least have that going for me.
Got to say that I smile just about every time that I look at 'em. If you are hesitant, I'd say go ahead and give them a try. They're worth it.
This plant used to grow wild in the woods in New Hampshire when I was growing up. We used to pick the berries and chew them, and sometimes we just admired the little star shape on the bottom of the berries. They were used in terrariums around the holidays and also decorated fresh wreaths. Since they grew wild, no one cultivated this plant in gardens. I am looking forward to trying it in my Northern California garden next year.
On Aug 11, 2004, MN_Darren from Saint Paul, MN wrote:
I have three happy clumps of this that are spreading quickly in soil that is adjacent to spruce trees and artificially acidified. I also mulched the area with pine bark mulch. It's low growing (3-6"), attractive, and the berries are quite interesting--the texture is similar to an apple, but the taste is...well...wintergreen. Even the leaves have the flavor. They are found in Northern Minnesota, and seem to do very well in Southern Minnesota given acidic soil.
On Apr 24, 2004, deekayn from Tweed Coast Australia wrote:
I use very small amounts of the essential oil from the leaves, for muscle rubs in my clinic. Very effective.
It has been/is used for flavouring in toothpaste, chewing gum, root beer, Coca-Cola, and other soft drinks.
On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
Evergreen shrublet, creeping, to about 6 inches (15 cm) tall, stoloniferous and in time providing a dense ground cover. Leaves simple, crowded at branch tips, elliptic to elliptic-obovate, 2-5 cm by 1-2 cm, dark green, glossy above. Flowers urn-shaped, 7 mm, white or pinkish, single or rarely in small racemes. Fruits globose, 8-15 mm, red, very aromatic when rubbed, persistent from October to late spring.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
, Sierra Vista Southeast, Arizona Gilroy, California Oakhurst, California Oxford, Connecticut Talleyville, Delaware Chillum, Maryland Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Millersville, Maryland East Brookfield, Massachusetts Mashpee, Massachusetts Bay City, Michigan Saint Helen, Michigan West Branch, Michigan St Paul, Minnesota Dunellen, New Jersey Ramblewood, New Jersey , New York Buffalo, New York Flat Rock, North Carolina Bowling Green, Ohio Fruit Hill, Ohio Uniontown, Ohio Roseburg, Oregon Laflin, Pennsylvania Milford, Pennsylvania Millersburg, Pennsylvania Tidioute, Pennsylvania South Kingstown, Rhode Island Clinton, Tennessee Germantown, Tennessee Toone, Tennessee Eagle Mountain, Texas Burlington, Vermont Henrico, Virginia Leesburg, Virginia Merrimac, Virginia East Port Orchard, Washington Edgewood, Washington Walnut Grove, Washington Falling Waters, West Virginia