Page author: David Giblin
Gaultheria humifusa
alpine wintergreen

Distribution: In the Olympics and Cascades mountains of Washington; British Columbia south to northern California, east to the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to Colorado.

Habitat: Subalpine to alpine, usually where moist to wet.

Flowers: July-August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Low, depressed shrub up to 3 cm. tall, the stems trailing, up to 10 cm. long, glabrous or finely puberulent.


Leaves evergreen, leathery, shiny, alternate, broadly ovate to elliptic, 1-2 cm. long and 0.5-1.5 cm. broad, rounded, entire.


Flowers single in the leaf axils on short, bracteate pedicels; calyx deeply 5-lobed, glabrous, 3-4 mm. long; corolla slightly longer than the calyx, united, bell-shaped, 5-lobed, pinkish; stamens 10, anthers opening by terminal pores, without awns.


Capsule berry-like, surrounded by the persistent, pulpy calyx, 5-7 mm. broad, reddish.

Accepted Name:
Gaultheria humifusa (Graham) Rydb.
Publication: Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 1: 300. 1900. 1900.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Gaultheria myrsinites Hook.
Vaccinium humifusum Graham
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Gaultheria humifusa in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Gaultheria humifusa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Gaultheria humifusa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Gaultheria humifusa photos.

USDA Plants: Gaultheria humifusa information.

16 photographs:
Group by