Category: Vii Wild Food On The Trail
Almost every one knows the little cherry-red _wintergreen berry_ or
_checkerberry_, and almost every one likes its sweet aromatic flavor but
few would care to make a meal of it. The fruit is too dry for hearty
eating and the flavor too decided. The evergreen leaves are leathery in
texture and their flavor is stronger than that of the berry; they are
whitish underneath and dark, glossy green above. They are oval in shape
and have a few small teeth or none at all. The flowers are white, waxy,
and cup-shaped; they hang like bells from their short stems. The plant
grows close to the ground, generally in the woods and moist places. It
is found as far north as Maine and west to Michigan.
Do not mistake the bunchberry for the wintergreen. It, too, grows low on
the ground, but the bunchberries are in close clusters at the top of the
small plant where the leaves radiate. The berries are bright scarlet,
round and smooth, and are _not_ edible. Flower and leaf resemble those
of the dogwood-tree, to which family the bunchberry belongs.