Gaultheria, also called Gaultheria or Goulteria or Golteria, is a member of the Heather family. This genus has about 80 species. In nature they can be found on the territory of Asia, New Zealand, South and North America and Australia as well. This genus was named after Jean-Francois Gauthier, who was one of the first explorers of the flora of Canada as well as a French physician and botanist. Only a fraction of the species are cultivated by gardeners as ornamental plants.
Peculiarities of Gaultieria
Grown in middle latitudes, Gaultieria are not very large evergreen shrubs, highly frost-resistant and with compact branches. The small, leathery, shiny dark green leaf plates are solidly edged. In late spring or early summer, rosy-white, lily-of-the-valley flowers form, which may be clustered in small florets or singly. They have a delicate scent and thin, delicate petals. The inedible fruits are cranberry-like, up to 10 mm across and a deep red, white or dark blue color.
The fruit looks very impressive against the foliage and stays on the branches for several months. This is a slow growing plant. Under the right conditions, this shrub can be kept in the same spot for up to 50 years.
Growing Gaulteria from seed
Gaulteria seed needs three months of stratification before sowing. The seeds should be combined with moistened moss, then the mixture should be placed in a glass container, closed tightly and placed on the refrigerator shelf designated for vegetables at a temperature of 2-4 degrees.
Sowing of prepared seeds is carried out in boxes filled with top peat, and they do not need to be embedded. Then, the container is removed to a well-lit and warm place. The first seedlings should appear after 14-20 days. Picking the plants should be carried out after they have formed 2 pairs of true leaf plates. Into individual pots 1 or 2 plants should be put out and then kept in the greenhouse or indoors for two or three years before being hardened and put out into the garden.
The soil should be loose peaty and acidic (pH no more than 5.0). The soil should not contain lime. If the soil on the site is too heavy, then to fill the planting pits you need to prepare a substrate, for this combine semi-prepared coniferous litter, high peat and coarse sand (2:3:1). The depth of planting holes should be 0.
3 to 0.4 m, and the distance between them - 0.2-0.4 m, and note that the more dense the soil, the less distance should be between bushes. At the bottom of the pit should make a good drainage layer thickness of 10 to 15 centimeters, for this take a pebble or broken bricks.
During planting the root neck should be placed at the same level with the surface of the site or it can be sunk, but no more than 15 mm. When the hole is backfilled, the surface of the root stock should be compacted and the plant watered.
In early spring, before the stems begin to grow, pruning is done to stimulate active branching. During pruning, traumatized, withered and diseased stems and branches should also be removed. At the same time fertilize the shrub, for this purpose 150 grams of Nitroammofoska and 100 grams of Kemira-Universal should be made in its root circle per 1 square meter.
Pouring is done once in 2 weeks, with 0.5 buckets of water poured under one bush. During prolonged dry spells, watering frequency should be increased to once every seven days, in the evening. When the rain passes or the bush is watered, the ground near the shrub should be gently loosened, remembering that the roots are very close to the surface of the plot. While loosening, all weeds that grow near the shrub should be pulled out.
In order to significantly reduce the number of waterings, the surface of the root zone should be covered with a layer of mulch (peat or wood chips), with a thickness of 8 to 10 centimeters.
In June, mineral fertilizer must be applied to the soil in the root zone, which should not contain nitrogen. Mature shrubs do not need to be covered for the winter. However, young bushes must be necessarily protected from frosts, for this purpose the root circle is covered with a layer of mulch (dried leaves or peat), the thickness of which should be at least 8-10 centimeters, and the plant itself is covered with lapnik. In the spring time, the cover should be removed.
Gaulteria species and varieties with photos and names
There are many species of Gaulteria in nature, but only a small fraction are cultivated by gardeners. The most popular species and varieties will be described below.
Gaulteria hairy-leaved (Gaultheria trichophylla), or Gaulteria hairy
This plant is native to East Asia (Himalayas and China). This shrub is about 10 centimeters tall. Its greenish-gray leaflets are 0.
5 to 1 cm long and elongated or elliptical in shape. The pink drooping bell-shaped flowers are 0.4 cm long. The color of the fruit is blue. This species has been cultivated in Europe since 1897.
Gaultheria ovalifolia (Gaultheria ovalifolia)
Native to the west coast of the United States. The shrub reaches about 0.3 m in height. The leaf laminae are about 35 mm long and the white flowers are up to 5 mm long. The color of the fruits is deep red, and they reach 10 mm in cross-section.
This species has been cultivated since 1890.
Gaultheria humifusa (Gaultheria humifusa)
Generated this species from the western part of North America. The bush is about 10 centimeters tall. The almost round or ovate leaf plates are sparsely dentate at the edge, and are about 20 mm long. Single axillary bell-shaped flowers reach up to 0.
5 cm in length. The fruits are 0.7 cm across and scarlet-red in color. It has been cultivated since 1830.
Gaultheria glandularis (Gaultheria adenothrix)
This species is native to the Japanese islands of Honshu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido.
In nature, it prefers to grow in coniferous forests and on rocks. The bush is about 0.3 m tall. The leathery oval-shaped leaflets are serrated on the edge on the front surface, bare, about 20 mm wide and up to 30 mm long. Bell-shaped drooping flowers may be singular or clustered in groups of 2-3 at stem-tops; their outer surface is white, while the inner one is pale pink.
The flowers are about 0.8 cm long. There are many small glands on the surface of the red fruits.
Gaultheria miqueliana (Gaultheria miqueliana)
Wild, this species grows in groups and is found in the Kuril Islands, Japan and Sakhalin. This erect shrub is about 0.
25 m tall. The branches are erect and the rhizomes are creeping. Its dense leaflets are dark green in color and produce small flowering clusters during flowering. The fruits reach about 0.8 cm across and are similar in appearance to snowberry berries.
This frost-resistant species is quite difficult to grow in your garden.
Gaultheria shallon (Gaultheria shallon)
This species is most popular with gardeners, and it is native to North America. The bush is about 50 cm tall. The stems are straight and ascending. The alternately arranged ovate-shaped leaf plates reach about 12 centimeters in length.
On the tops of the stems are panicles of lily-like white or pink flowers, which grow to about 10 mm across. The berries are purple at first, but later they turn black, about 10 mm in diameter. This species has been cultivated since 1826.
Gaultheria procumbens (Gaultheria procumbens)
Generated from the eastern part of North America. In nature it prefers to grow in mixed forests and among tall shrubs.
The creeping stems are about 15 centimeters tall and form a bush that reaches about 0.4 m across. The glossy, almost round, deep green leaflets are about 40 mm long. The lily-shaped, drooping white flowers are solitary. Inedible berries reach about 10 mm in cross-section and are scarlet-red in color.
It has been cultivated since 1762. Each part of this shrub has a specific aroma. Gardeners cultivate it as a groundcover plant.
GAULTHERIA (GAULTHERIA) family. Heather
Howlteria properties: harm and benefit
Howlteria useful properties
Howlteria is not only a decorative plant, but it also has medicinal properties.
It has anti-inflammatory, stimulant, diuretic, antirheumatic, diuretic, resolving and analgesic effects. Such a plant contains organic acids, formaldehyde, gaulterilin, arbutin and tannins, with methyl salicylate being the main biological active ingredient.
Since ancient times, the leaves of such a shrub have been used to make tea, which helped relieve headaches and throat diseases. They can also be chewed raw if fatigue needs to be quickly relieved.
Traditional medicine uses an oil that is made from the leaves and young stems of Gaulteria.
It is also used to make remedies such as: Naftalgin, Capsin, Sanitas and Saliniment. They are used externally for painful joints as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. The oil prepared from Gaulteria recumbens has a warming effect, so it is rubbed into painful areas of the body or into overstretched muscles, and it is also used externally in the treatment of skin inflammations, lumbago, neuralgia, rheumatism, fibrositis and cellulite. The smell of this oil improves mood, it is invigorating, relieves fatigue and stress, and freshens the air in the room.
Halteria-based products cannot be used by pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is also forbidden to take together with aspirin.
Also, experts strongly advise against taking these funds for children under the age of 6 years, as well as people who have an individual intolerance to Gaulteria. If the skin is very sensitive, then applying it to oil gaulteria, you need to be extremely careful. The composition of such a plant includes a poison, therefore it is necessary to take remedies made on its basis only by prescription of a qualified specialist and strictly adhering to the dosage recommended by him.