1a. Leaf blades less than 1 cm long, with scattered dark bristles beneath; flowers 4-merous, ca. 2–3 mm long, open May–June; fruit pure white, ripe July–August; stem prostrate, with appressed dark bristles.
1b. Leaf blades (1.5–) 2–4.5 (–5) cm long, without bristles beneath (though on margins of young leaves); flowers 5-merous, 6–9.5 mm long, open late July–August; fruit red, ripe late in the fall (but over-wintering); stem with ± erect shoots bearing incurved whitish hairs or glabrate.
Etymology: Gaultheria: for Jean François Gaulthier (1708-1756), botanist appointed King's physician in 1741 for Quebec
Plants: shrubs or subshrubs
Leaves: alternate, simple, evergreen
Inflorescence: flowers borne singly from leaf axils
Flowers: corolla cylindric-ovoid or urceolate to campanulate, 4-5 toothed or cleft, nearly white; stamens 8 or 10; pedicels with two bractlets
Fruits: capsule, depressed, many seeded, inclosed when ripe by the calyx or its base which thickens and beomes fleshy, so as to appear as an ellipsoid to globular berry
Number of Species: 6 in North America; 2 in Wisconsin
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