How to Grow Wintergreen Berries
Wintergreen is an unusual berry that is generally acquired via foraging as opposed to cultivating. It can however be grown successfully in the Northeastern USA and South Eastern Canada as well as other regions to which it is not indigenous but that have suitable climates. It needs a mild summer and cold winter as well as the intermediate seasons.
Herb - Culinary / Medicinal
USDA Zones 3 to 7
Soil pH 4.5 to 5.5
The leaves are dark green with a strong wintergreen aroma when crushed, they turn red or bronze come fall. The flowers are pale pink to white, not overly attractive nor are they ugly. The berries have a taste that matches the aroma with a tad more minty sweetness than you would sometimes anticipate.
The volatile oil of wintergreen is highly toxic in large doses, which is probably why the leaves produce a belly ache when ingested. A single drop of concentrated wintergreen oil can flavor a gallon or more of wintergreen tea. The aspirin like active compound found in wintergreen is methyl salicylate in mild doses it has multiple medicinal properties as per herbalists. Like aspirin it soothes throbbing head aches and eases sore muscles. For more info on the medicinal properties of wintergreen see - Wintergreen Oil: More Than Just a Pain Reliever mercola.com