Pernettya mucronata, synonymous with Gaultheria mucronata, forms berries that sometimes remain on the shrub the entire winter.  It is one of the loveliest berrying shrubs. Originating from South America up to Tierra del Fuego. The wild plants grow with wide branches and form underground shoots, allowing the plants to greatly expand. Cultivars show hardly any sign of this. Belonging to the ericaceous or heath family, they shy away from calcareous soils. The leaves are dark green and sturdy. The nodding white flowers, with a pink glow, stand on short stalks. The numerous berries grow 8 to 12 mm. in diameter. In the wild variety they are red. There are many cultivars, ranging from shades of white to pink, red and lilac. Pernettya thrive best in non- calcareous and humus-rich soil that is slightly moist and sandy. An ideal spot is semi-shaded. If you keep the soil sufficiently moist, they can also be exposed to full sunlight. In our country the plants are not entirely winter-hardy. Plant them preferably in a sheltered spot and protect them during winter. The berries grow on two year old wood. In the first year the flower bud is formed and the second year the berry. If branches produced by the plants are too long they can be pruned during growth without any problems. The plant then produces new side branches, upon which new buds appear and these bloom next spring. You can repeat this each year. To ensure sufficient colourful berries one should also plant male specimens in the vicinity of the berry-bearing female plants. A male plant can pollinate up to thirty female plants. These male plants can also be placed somewhere in a corner of the garden, positioned a few metres away from the female plants. The wind and the bees take care of the rest. You cannot tell what colour the berry will be by looking at the flower. All plants, including the males, have the same white flowers. The females with a pistil and men only stamens. If the flowers are pollinated they grow into beautiful coloured berries during summer. (Just like with plums and cherries ) They do not like lime. For that reason it is not advisable to water the plants with tap water. Preferably, use softened water or rainwater. Always use non-calcareous fertilisers. There are special fertilisers available for heathland plants. If you spray the berries regularly and lightly with water they will stay shiny and pretty for several weeks longer than usual. To protect the berries during transport they are packed in nice gift packaging, the Gift Pack. The nice thing about it is that when the top half is removed, it is also a beautiful ornamental flowerpot. That’s why the Pernettya Gift Pack is great to give and pleasant to receive.  Pernettya is a wonderful berry plant for brightening up the balcony, patio, garden or windowsill in late summer.