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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Slender Wintergreen - Gaultheria ovatifolia

Potential Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3S4
C-value: 8

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Slender wintergreen is a low shrub with slender, nearly prostrate, hairy stems, 5-20 cm (2-8 in) long. The alternate, mostly glabrous leaves, 2-4 cm (ca. 1 in) long, are egg-shaped with finely toothed margins. Single stalked flowers occur in the leaf axils. Each white flower, 3-5 mm long, has a 5-lobed, urn-shaped corolla and a shorter, brown-hairy, 5-lobed calyx. The fruit is a bright red, globose berry, 6-8 mm wide.

Mature fruit in August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Gaultheria humifusa has a glabrous calyx and leaves usually less than 2 cm long. The species exhibits low levels of fruit production in our area.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 38

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist forests, often dominated by Thuja plicata, of terraces and lower slopes in the valleys and lower montane zone.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Lorain, C. C. 1988. Floristic history and distribution of coastal disjunct plants of the northern Rocky Mountains. M.S. thesis. College of Forestry, Wildlife, and Range Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow. 221 pp.
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Citation for data on this website:
Slender Wintergreen — Gaultheria ovatifolia.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from