The name of this evergreen plant, which is native to eastern North America, comes from the fact that it retains foliage all winter long. In addition to its rich green leaves, wintergreen bears white flowers and bright red berries. The leaves produce a pungent oil that's used to flavor a variety of products including candy, gum, medicine, etc. Wintergreen is also known as checkerberry.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.