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ERICACEAE HEATH FAMILY

Gary D. Wallace, except as noted

Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4–5, generally free; petals generally (0)4–5, free or fused; stamens 8–10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers awned or not, dehiscing by pores or slits; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1–5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1–many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
± 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. [Kron et al. 2002 Bot Rev 68:335–423] Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates. —Scientific Editors: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Ericaceae

CASSIOPE MOSS HEATHER
Shrub, small, glabrous to hairy. Stem: decumbent or prostrate, often rooting. Leaf: opposite, appressed, evergreen, leathery or thin. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in upper leaf axils; bracts 0; pedicel jointed to flower, bractlets 4–6. Flower: sepals 4–5, free; petals 4–5, ± 2/3 fused, generally white; stamens 10, anthers dehiscing by gaping pores, awns elongate; ovary superior, chambers 5, placentas near top. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal. Seed: several per chamber.
± 14 species: southern and eastern Asia, North America. (Greek: mother of Andromeda)

C. mertensiana (Bong.) G. Don WHITE HEATHER
NATIVE
Plant low, densely branched. Stem: < 3 dm, glabrous or finely hairy. Leaf: sessile, overlapping, 2–5 mm, boat-shaped, elliptic, concave, leathery, glabrous, abaxially not grooved; margin entire, ciliate, or minutely glandular, not rolled under. Inflorescence: pedicel glabrous or hairy. Flower: corolla widely bell-shaped, white, lobes 5; filaments glabrous.
Moist, subalpine slopes, around rocks, areas of late snow; 1800–3505 m. Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada; to Alaska, western Canada, Montana. If recognized taxonomically, plants with leaf 3–5 mm, margin minutely glandular-ciliate, in southern High Cascade Range (Lassen Peak), High Sierra Nevada, assignable to Cassiope mertensiana subsp. californica Piper, plants with leaf 2–3 mm, margin with white, ephemeral hairs, in Klamath Ranges, assignable to Cassiope mertensiana subsp. ciliolata Piper. Jul–Aug [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 23 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Cassiope, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=18114, accessed on Apr 23 2014

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click for enlargement Cassiope mertensiana
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William R. Hewlett © 1999 California Academy of Sciences

Bioregions in which Cassiope mertensiana occurs Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.