This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Low or tall shrubs, with alternate coriaceous persistent evergreen leaves, and small axillary, solitary or racemose, white, red or pink flowers. Calyx 5-parted or 5-cleft, persistent. Corolla urn-shaped or campanulate, 5-toothed or 5-lobed, the lobes recurved or spreading. Stamens 10, included, inserted at the base of the corolla; filaments dilated above the base; anther-sacs opening by a terminal pore, commonly awned. Stigma obtuse, entire. Disk 10-toothed. Ovary 5-celled, 5-lobed. Calyx becoming fleshy and at length surrounding the capsule, forming a berry-like fruit [Named after Dr. Gaultier, of Quebec]
About 100 species, mostly of the Andes of South America, a few North American and Asiatic. Besides the following 3 others occur on the Pacific Coast, the following typical.
Gaultheria procumbens L. Sp. Pl. 395. 1753.
Nearly glabrous throughout, aromatic; stems slender, creeping or subterranean; branches erect, 2'-6' high. Leaves mostly clustered at the ends of the branches, oval, oblong or obovate, obtuse or acute, narrowed at the base, short-petioled, the margins slightly revolute and serrate with low bristle-tipped teeth, dark green and shining above, pale beneath, 1'-2' long; flowers usually solitary in the axils, on recurved peduncles 2"-4" long, 2-bracteo-late under the calyx; corolla ovoid-urceolate, white, 5-toothed, 2"-3" ' long; fruit depressed-globose, slightly 5-lobed, bright red, 4"-6" in diameter, mealy, very spicy in flavor.
In woods, especially under evergreen trees, Newfoundland to Manitoba, New Jersey, Georgia, West Virginia, Indiana and Michigan. June-Sept. Fruit ripe late in the autumn, remaining on the plant until spring. Chinks. One-berry. Drunkards. Chicken-berry. Red pollom. Box-, ground-, tea-, green- or partridge-berry. Deer-, hill-, ginger-, ivy-, grouse- or spice-berry. Ivory plum. Mountain- or Canada tea.