Eastern United States.
Flowers: usually one or more; axillary; nodding. Calyx: of five sepals. Corolla: bell-shaped, with five points. Stamens: ten. Pistil: one, to the ovary of which the calyx adheres and grows fleshy into the fruit, which appears like a berry. It is very pretty, round and red. Leaves: alternate; oval; evergreen; shiny. Stem: creeping on or under the ground and sending up erect branches.
Down deep in every heart must be a remembrance of the days when it was a great event to go to the moist meadows for the first bunch of violets, and later into the woods for a handful of wintergreen. The delicate bloom and bright berries grow together in the late season. They have, in common with the leaves, a pleasant taste and afford many a merry meal to animals and birds. When fate decrees that they shall blush unseen and no one comes by to pick them, they simply dry upon the stem until their innate wisdom tells them that the ground is ripe for sowing. The seeds are then let loose and drop into the ground. The Indian knew that from this plant he could extract something to soothe his aching bones; and the white man is now doing the same thing, as the oil of winter-green is considerably used for rheumatism.
G. Shallon, (Plate LXXXVIII) is a small wintergreen shrub that is not very generally known, as it confines itself to the pine woods of the far west. It spreads gaily over the ground as though it had no other object in life than to make the air spicy and fresh. The waxy flowers grow in graceful racemes; and the glossy, ovate leaves appear to be the very essence of healthful vigour.