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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Shrub, [tree] glabrous to hairy, rhizomed or not, burls generally 0. Stem: trailing to erect. Leaf: cauline, alternate. Inflorescence: raceme or flowers 1, bracted; bud scales present; bractlets generally 2. Flower: sepals 4–5, 2/3 to fully fused; corolla cylindric to urn- or cup-shaped, petals generally 4–5, ± 2/3 fused, generally white; stamens 8 or 10, filaments generally glabrous, anthers elongate, awned or not, dehiscing by pores on small tubes; ovary inferior, chambers 4–5, or appearing 10 by intrusion of ovary wall, placentas axile, stigma head-like. Fruit: berry. Seed: generally many.
400+ species: temperate northern hemisphere, tropical mountains, Africa. (Latin: for Vaccinium myrtillus L.)
Unabridged references: [Vander Kloet 1988 The genus Vaccinium in North America]
Unabridged note: Vaccinium oxycoccos L. reported from California; records lacking.

Key to Vaccinium

1. Leaves evergreen, leathery, veins not prominent abaxially; pedicel jointed to flower; filaments ± hairy

2. Plant < 1.5 dm, branches slender; leaf generally 7–17 mm, ± entire; corolla lobes >> tube, reflexed when anthers open ..... V. macrocarpon

2' Plant 5–30 dm, branches stout; leaf 20–50 mm, serrate; corolla lobes < tube, erect to spreading when anthers open ..... V. ovatum

1' Leaves deciduous (rarely evergreen in young plants of Vaccinium parvifolium), thin or ± thick, veins generally prominent abaxially; pedicel not jointed to flower; filaments glabrous

3. Leaf entire; calyx lobes generally > tube, persistent; twigs not angled, not green; flowers 1–4 on leafless older shoots ..... V. uliginosum subsp. occidentale

3' Leaf serrate or minutely so (but see Vaccinium parvifolium); calyx lobes ± 0 or generally < tube, deciduous; twigs angled or not, green or not; flowers often 1 in axils of lowest leaves of youngest shoots

4. Twigs strongly angled, green; fruit red (or dark purple when dry)

5. Plant erect shrub, 10–40 dm, generally not rhizomed; leaf entire to serrate or with only deciduous, sharp point at tip, abaxially (especially midvein) puberulent ..... V. parvifolium

5' Plant brushy shrub, < 5 dm, rhizomed; leaf serrate, abaxially glabrous ..... V. scoparium

4' Twigs not or weakly angled, ± green or yellow-green but not green; fruit not red (rarely dark red in Vaccinium membranaceum)

6. Plant generally 5–15 dm; twigs weakly angled; leaf generally ovate to elliptic or obovate, 2–5 cm, thin, membranous, base often rounded to truncate, tip acute ..... V. membranaceum

6' Plant generally < 5 dm; twigs not or weakly angled; leaf generally oblong or elliptic to obovate or oblanceolate, rarely elliptic, generally 1–3.5 cm, generally thin but not membranous, base tapered, tip seldom acute

7. Youngest twigs generally puberulent or glandular; leaf not glaucous, generally oblong or obovate to elliptic; corolla narrowly urn-shaped; fruit < 9 mm wide ..... V. cespitosum

7' Youngest twigs generally glabrous, glaucous; leaf glaucous, obovate to oblanceolate (elliptic); corolla ± spheric; fruit > 9 mm wide ..... V. deliciosum


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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