|With their white, pink or red flowers, sturdy green leaves and berrylike fruits, these easy-to-care-for heaths make an attractive accent or shrub border. They slowly spread by underground runners to form colonies. The deciduous species are especially showy, with leaves that often turn scarlet and purple in fall. Named for a 19th century French chemist, Louis Joseph Gay-Lussac. Plant in a sunny spot with loose, acid soil. Like other heaths, they will not survive in alkaline soil, and do best when kept mulched with organic material. All are hardy to 10º F. Prune in late winter or spring only to shape or size. Dark blue or black berries are edible but usually tasteless. All species but Gaylussacia bracycera (Box Huckleberry) lose their leaves in winter. Easy to grow from seed, as well as by division or from cuttings of young shoots.
It propogates only by rooting stems -- one 9-acre colony in New Jersey, from a single mother plant, may be over 10,000 years old! Edible but flavorless black fruits follow the red-striped white flowers. Leathery leaves may turn bronze in fall.
Attributes - Gaylussacia brachycera
Plant Type: Shrub
Flower Color: White
Height: 1 ft. to 1 ft. 6 in.
Width: 3 ft.
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Sun
Climate: Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Notes: Thrives in Acid Soil. Edible.