Wild Foods Home Garden

How to Grow & Use Wild Plants, Trees, Shrubs & Mushrooms

A Practical Guide Using Organic Gardening Methods




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Creeping Snowberry or Moxie-Plum. (By: Jomegat CC BY-SA 3.0)


(NOTE: If you are not interested in growing the Creeping Snowberry, but just finding the berries and using it, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site Creeping Snowberry page.)


Creeping Snowberry or Moxie-Plum (Gaultheria hispidula). Do not confuse this plant with the poisonous "Snowberry" (Symphoricarpos), specifically the Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) which has fruit that looks very similar. The Creeping Snowberry is a ground level type plant properly called a prostrate shrub. Most people refer plants like this as "ground-cover" plants. If it is not within 10 cm (4 inches) of the ground, it is not the edible Creeping Snowberry. The fruit of the edible Creeping Snowberry is shaped like a small white egg, while the not edible Common Snowberry is more spherical.


Is the growing of this plant compatable with Natural farming, Ecoagriculture or Eco friendly agriculture, Ecological farming, Sustainable agriculture, Agroforestry or Agro-sylviculture and Permaculture: The perennial is a perfect fit for the Natural farming, no-till garden method. Once established, there is no need to disturb the soil.


This plant spreads by the roots and should take to transplanting without much trouble. Most plants that spread by roots transplant quite well. If you have the right habitat this would be a nice plant to have. A bonus - the plant is an evergreen. The likes the same conditions as the Wintergreen, so refer to that section on growing and transplanting. The only difference is this plant can live in soil that is acidic to slightly acidic, not just acidic like the Wintergreen, so if your soil is slightly acidic, this one would be a better choice.

The fruit of this plant has a Wintergreen taste, which is not surprising as it is a close relative of the Wintergreen plant. Easy to think of this as the white berry Wintergreen. You will never get a lot of food from this plant, but if you have an area of your property in the shade, and you wanted an evergreen ground cover, this makes a good choice and provides a few berries as a bonus.


Description:


Web Resources:


Creeping Snowberry or Moxie-Plum (Gaultheria hispidula) range. Distribution map courtesy of U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Natural Resources Service) and used in accordance with their policies.


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(Robert H. Mohlenbrock, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Northeast National Technical Center, Chester.)


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Drawing. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 704)


Poisonous Look-Alike:





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Important Notes when Identifying
Some Cautions
Dangerous Plants to Avoid Touching
Disclaimer


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