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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 (2–5)8–10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; 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

ERICA HEATH
Shrub, glabrous to hairy. Stem: generally erect. Leaf: alternate, opposite, or generally whorled, evergreen, leathery; margin entire or minutely dentate, generally rolled under, hiding abaxial surface. Inflorescence: generally raceme, panicle, or umbel, generally bracted; pedicel not jointed to flower, bractlets generally 3. Flower: sepals generally 4, generally free; corolla spheric to tubular, petals generally 4, fused, generally persistent in fruit; stamens generally 8, anthers generally 2-lobed, dehiscing generally by pores or separate slits, generally awned; nectary generally disk-like; ovary superior, chambers 4(8). Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, dehiscing tip to base. Seed: generally several per chamber.
± 630 species: southern and eastern Africa, Europe. (Latin: heath)

Previous taxon: Empetrum nigrum
Next taxon: Erica lusitanica

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Sep 2 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Erica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=8969, accessed on Sep 2 2014

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