Gaultheria rigida (= Pernettya rigida)
A delightful small shrub in the Ericaceae or heath family that grows to only 1 to 2 m tall, with compact, dense leaves and globose, white blossoms. The fruits are also highly attractive and ripen to a Fuchsia-purple color. Endemic only to the the tiny, volcanic Juan Fernandez Islands in the southeast Pacific off the coast of Chile, it should thrive in any cool, humid, temperate climate. It is not hard to imagine that this plant has great potential as an ornamental and this may be the first time ever that it is commercially available. Seeds germinate easily in 6 weeks to 2 months.