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Wintergreen. Checkerberry

Categories: 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.