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Fields, Forests & Wetlands Foods of Eastern North America

A Complete Wild Food Guide

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Gaultheria_hispidula_3-eheep_(5097306841).jpg

Creeping Snowberry or Moxie-Plum in with moss. (Superior National Forest Attribution 2.0 Generic)


Season: Late Summer & Fall


Urban, Rural or Both: Rural


Creeping Snowberry or Moxie-Plum (Gaultheria hispidula). Do not confuse this plant with the poisonous "Snowberry" (Symphoricarpos), specifically the Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) which has fruit that looks very similar. The Creeping Snowberry is a ground level type plant properly called a prostrate shrub. Most people refer plants like this as "ground-cover" plants. If it is not within 10 cm (4 inches) of the ground, it is not the edible Creeping Snowberry. The fruit of the edible Creeping Snowberry is shaped like a small white egg, while the not edible Common Snowberry is more spherical.

You find this plant in shady or mottled light areas that are moist with acidic to neutral soils and rotting wood on the ground.

Due to the acidic taste of this fruit, and the relative rarity of this plant and its fruit, it is a snack like food, not a meal food. I will say, it is nice after a meal while on a walk, and seems to aid digestion - maybe that is the acidity. Has a Wintergreen taste, which is not surprising as it is a close relative of the Wintergreen plant. Easy to think of this as the white berry Wintergreen.

Remember, it must be very close to the ground and shaped like a small egg.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For growing instructions, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Snowberry page.


Description:


Creeping Snowberry or Moxie-Plum (Gaultheria hispidula) range. Distribution map courtesy of U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Natural Resources Service) and used in accordance with their policies.


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Creeping Snowberry or Moxie-Plum. (By: Jomegat CC BY-SA 3.0)


Gaultheria_hispidula_2-eheep_(5097887472)

Creeping Snowberry or Moxie-Plum growing on open ground. (Superior National Forest Attribution 2.0 Generic)


gahi2_001_lhp

(Robert H. Mohlenbrock, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Northeast National Technical Center, Chester.)


chhi6_001_lvd

Drawing. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 704)

Poisonous Look-Alike:






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Important Notes when Identifying
Rules & Cautions
Dangerous Plants to Avoid Touching
Disclaimer


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