E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Gaultheria hispidula (L.) Muhl. ex Bigelow
creeping-snowberry (creeping snowberry)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #4846)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Gaultheria hispidula
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Species Information

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Creeping shrub, stems slender, 10-40 cm long; brownish, appressed, forward-pointing bristly hairs on the stems, calyces, and lower surfaces of the leaves.
Alternate, evergreen, leathery, elliptic to egg-shaped, 4-10 mm long, entire, margins rolled under, appressed-bristly beneath; stalks 1.5-2.5 mm long.
Few, solitary in leaf axils, on short nodding flower stalks, subtended by 2 egg-shaped bracts; corollas white or pinkish, bell-shaped, deeply 4-lobed, about 2 mm long; calyces bell-shaped, deeply 4-parted; stamens 8, filaments flattened, shorter than the anthers; anthers each with 2 very short terminal awns, opening by 2 large lateral pores.
Berries, clear white, 3-5 mm wide, bristly-hairy, surrounded by the calyx, juicy with a mild wintergreen flavour and aroma.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Red
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet coniferous forests and bogs in the montane zone; frequent in S and C BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare northward; E to NF, and S to N ID, MN, PA, and NC.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Gaultheria hispidula

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 10 976 2195
Slope Gradient (%) 0 5 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 312 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(18), ESSF(49), ICH(145), IDF(8), IMA(1), MH(1), MS(43), SBPS(25), SBS(369), SWB(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Chiogenes hispidula (L.) Torr. & A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References