This section is from the book "Nature's Garden", by Neltje Blanchan. Also available from Amazon: Nature's Garden; An Aid To Knowledge Of Our Wild Flowers And Their Insect Visitors.
Flowers - Very small, white, few, solitary, noddingon short, curved peduncles from the leaf axils. Calyx 2-bracted, 4-cleft; corolla a short 4-cleft bell; 8 short stamens, each anther sac opening by a slit to the middle; 1 pistil, the ovary 4-celled. Stem: Creeping along the ground, the slender, leafy, hairy branches 3 to 12 in. long. Leaves: Evergreen, alternate, 2-ranked, oval, very small, dark and glossy above, coated with stiff, rusty hairs underneath, the edges curled. Fruit: A snow-white, round or oval, mealy, aromatic berry; ripe August - September.
Preferred Habitat - Cool bogs; low, moist, mossy woods.
Flowering Season - May - June.
Distribution - North Carolina and Michigan northward to the British Possessions.
Allied on the one hand to the cranberry, so often found with it in the cool northern peat bogs, and on the other to the delicious blueberries, this "snow-born" berry, which appears on no dining-table, nevertheless furnishes many a good meal to hungry birds and fagged pedestrians. Both the pretty foliage and the fruit have the refreshing flavor of sweet birch.