1 any of several evergreen perennials of the genus Pyrola [syn: pyrola]
2 creeping shrub of eastern North America having white bell-shaped flowers followed by spicy red berrylike fruit and shiny aromatic leaves that yield wintergreen oil [syn: teaberry, checkerberry, mountain tea, groundberry, ground-berry, creeping wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens]
3 spicy red berrylike fruit; source of wintergreen oil [syn: boxberry, checkerberry, teaberry, spiceberry]
- Any evergreen plant.
- Any of several evergreen perennials of the genus Pyrola
- A North American creeping evergreen plant, Gaultheria procumbens, having solitary white flowers and aromatic leaves; the checkerberry or teaberry
- The spicy red berries of this plant
- The oil, methyl salicylate, obtained from these berries
- The aroma of the oil, methyl salicylate, however derived.
Wintergreen is a group of plants. Wintergreen once commonly referred to plants that continue photosynthesis (remain green) throughout the winter. The term evergreen is now more commonly used for this characteristic.
Some species of the shrub genus Gaultheria in the closely related family Ericaceae also demonstrate this characteristic and are called wintergreens in North America, the most common generally being the Eastern Teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens). Several genera of herbaceous plants in the family Pyrolaceae, notably Pyrola, Orthilia, Moneses and Chimaphila, demonstrate this characteristic and are also called wintergreens.
Some species of the herbaceous genus Trientalis in the unrelated family Primulaceae are known as 'Chickweed Wintergreen'.
Oil of wintergreenThe Gaultheria species share the common characteristic of producing oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate), which gives plants a distinctive 'medicinal' smell when bruised. Some species of birch also produce oil of wintergreen, but these deciduous trees are not called wintergreens.
wintergreen in Danish: Vintergrøn
wintergreen in Norwegian: Vintergrønn