Elisabeth C. Miller Library logo Miller Library Home UW Botanic Gardens Home UW Botanic Gardens Home book graphic

3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98195 | (206) 543 0415 | Open: | Library Schedule

Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Gaultheria, Woody plant propagation, Germination

What specific requirements are needed to germinate Gaultheria procumbens in soilless media?
Any tips on seed stratification, cultural advice, etc., etc.?


The information below comes from the website of Plants for a Future:

"The seed requires a period of cold stratification. Pre-chill for 4-10 weeks and then surface sow in a lime-free compost in a shady part of the greenhouse and keep the compost moist. The seed usually germinates well, usually within 1- 2 months at 20 c, but the seedlings are liable to damp off. It is important to water them with care and to ensure that they get plenty of ventilation. Watering them with a garlic infusion can also help to prevent damping off. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are about 25mm tall, and grow them in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. The seedlings are susceptible to spring frosts so might need some protection for their first few years outdoors. The leaves remain very small for the first few years. If you want to grow from cuttings, use half-ripe wood 3-6cm long, and in July/August place in a frame in a shady position. They form roots in late summer or spring. A good percentage usually take. Division can be carried out at almost any time of the year, but works best in the spring just before new growth begins. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted directly into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring."

I consulted the book, Seeds of Woody Plants in North America by James A. Young (Dioscorides Press, 1992, rev.ed.), and the general information on Gaultheria states that cold dry storage will help maintain seed viability. G. procumbens has 6800 seeds per gram. Seeds are initially dormant and prechilling is needed for germination (from 30-120 days with a variety of substrata). Salal (G. shallon) seeds appear to require light for germination. This resource says that G. procumbens seeds should be sown in the fall.

Date 2018-04-11
Link to this record only (permalink)

Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Gaultheria

I was wondering if you could figure out if there is a difference between Gaultheria mucronata and Pernettya mucronata. Are they the same plant that had a name change? Are they different? I had thought that P. mucronata had both male and female plants--could you confirm that?


Here is the Pernettya mucronata listing, and here is the Gaultheria mucronata listing, both from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Taxonomy database, showing that the two names are synonyms.

The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden online forum offers the following information:

"Often known as pernettya, and less commonly as prickly heath, for many years this plant was placed in the genus Pernettya. This lasted until it was recognized that all members of the genus Pernettya were genetically indistinguishable from Gaultheria. As I mentioned in a previous entry, modern taxonomy suggests that nomenclature should reflect evolutionary relationships, so the names of all Pernettya species were changed in accordance with the evidence, and transferred to Gaultheria."

Just to make things still more complicated, there is also x Gaulnettya.

There are both male and female plants. See Plants for A Future's page about this plant.

Additional information from a local gardener's web site.

Date 2017-12-08
Link to this record only (permalink)

Didn't find an answer to your question? Ask us directly!

Browse keywords

Search Again:

May 23 2018 14:32:42