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Pernettya pumila (L.f.) Hook.

Modern name

Gaultheria pumila var. leucocarpa (DC.) D.J.Middleton


Arbutus pumila L.f.; P. empetrifolia (Lam.) Gaud.; Andromeda empetrifolia Lam.

A low, often prostrate evergreen shrub frequently only a few inches high, easily distinguished from P. mucronata by the smaller ovate or ovate-lanceolate leaves having no mucro at the apex; often they are blunt or even rounded there; they are 18 to 14 in. long and have cartilaginous, very minutely toothed margins. Flowers white, nodding, bell-shaped, 316 in. wide, with five shallow reflexed lobes. Fruits globose, 316 in. wide, white or pink; calyx not fleshy.

Native of the Falkland Islands and of the Magellan region; known since the second half of the 18th century, but not introduced, so far as is known, until the 1920s or 1930s. It makes an interesting plant for the rock garden and is quite hardy, but the fruits are only borne if plants of both sexes are grown. In the wild state it bears fruit very abundantly; one collector states that they could be gathered by the bushel and cooked like huckleberries.



Other species in the genus