T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Gaultheria macrostigma (Prostrate Snowberry)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Gaultheria
Species: G. macrostigma
Binominal name: Gaultheria macrostigma
Synonyms: Pernettya macrostigma, Gaultheria depressa var. microphylla.
Common name: Prostrate Snowberry

Gaultheria macrostigma is a prostrate herb of montane to lower sub-alpine (500- 1500m) opens grasslands and rocky places in North, South and Stewart Islands from 39° latitude southwards. 
It grows to a height of about 50cm. The hard narrow serrated leaves are widely spaced and are of a green/bronze colour.  It has small white to pink flowers during April to May and these develop into pink fleshy 6mm fruits. These fruits are edible raw or cooked. 
This plant crosses easily with other Gaulthereia so only the plants with narrow leaved plants with pink fruits are likely to be the true species.

Photographed at Mavora Lakes, Southland.