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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
1 sp. (Greek: wood berry, from stone of fruit)
Shrub, burled. Stem: erect, < 2.5 m; bark shredding; twigs canescent. Leaf: generally alternate, evergreen, 2.5–4.5 cm, elliptic to oblong, leathery; margin entire, rolled under, abaxially densely white- to gray-hairy, adaxially glabrous, dark green. Inflorescence: panicle, ± reflexed, dense, bracted; pedicel not jointed to flower, bractlets 2. Flower: sepals generally 5; corolla urn-shaped, hairy, petals 5, fused, < 9 mm, white or ± pink; stamens generally 10, filaments woolly in lower 1/2, not swollen at base, anthers dehiscing by separate slits, awned; ovary superior, hairy, chambers generally 5, placentas axile. Fruit: drupe, < 9 mm wide, smooth, flesh dry; stones (3)5, fused into a smooth unit.
2n=26. Chaparral; < 650 m. South Coast, s Channel Islands (Santa Catalina Island); northern Baja California. Dec–Feb [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Xylococcus
Next taxon: Euphorbiaceae
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Mar 9 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Xylococcus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=48691, accessed on Mar 9 2014
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© 1996 Christopher L. Christie
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