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Common Shrub Species of the Northwest Forest

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HERBS

GRAMINOIDS

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Terminology | Pictorial

   
Gaultheria hispidula
Creeping Snowberry
Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Description

General - delicate, creeping, evergreen shrub, often forms mats; stems slender, 10-14 cm long, bristling with reddish hairs (especially when young).

Creeping Snowberry Leaves - alternate, closely spaced, leathery, oval to round, 3-6 mm long; bristly beneath with brown scale-like hairs; edges rolled under.

Flowers - usually single in leaf axils; drooping, bell-shaped, pinkish to white, about 2 mm long; stalks 1 mm long.

Fruit - white berries, 5-10 mm across, hairy, mealy; mild wintergreen flavour and smell.

Habitat

Widespread throughout NW Ontario's southern boreal forests in bogs, swamps, and damp coniferous woods; seldom north of 56 degrees N.L.

Notes

May be confused with the Small Cranberry. Close inspection will revel the Small Cranberry lacks coarse bristles on the leaf undersides which are prominent on the Creeping Snowberry.

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