Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

ERICACEAE

HEATH FAMILY

Gary D. Wallace, except as specified

Perennial, shrub, tree
Stem: bark often peeling distinctively
Leaves simple, generally cauline, alternate, opposite, rarely whorled, evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0
Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers solitary, generally bracted; pedicels often with 2 bractlets
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals generally 4–5, generally free; petals generally 4–5, free or fused; stamens 8–10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers awned or not, dehiscent by pores or slits; nectary generally at ovary base, 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
Seeds generally many, sometimes winged
Genera in family: ± 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium
Reference: [Wallace 1975 Wasmann J Biol 33:1–88; 1975 Bot Not 128:286–298]
Subfamilies Monotropoideae, Pyroloideae, Vaccinioideae sometimes treated as families. Nongreen plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.

ERICA

HEATH

Shrub, glabrous to hairy
Stem generally erect
Leaves alternate, opposite, or generally whorled, evergreen, leathery; margin entire or minutely dentate, generally rolled under, hiding lower surface
Inflorescence: generally raceme, panicle, or umbel, generally bracted; bractlets generally 3; pedicels not jointed to flower
Flower: sepals generally 4, generally free; petals generally 4, fused, spheric to tubular, generally persistent in fruit; stamens generally 8, anthers generally 2-lobed, dehiscent generally by pores or separate slits, generally awned; nectary generally disk-like; ovary superior, chambers 4(8)
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, dehiscent tip to base
Seeds generally several per chamber
Species in genus: ± 630 species: s&e Africa, Eur
Etymology: (Latin: heath)

Introduced

E. lusitanica Rudolphi


Stem < 2 m; branchlets short, hairs dense
Leaf < 1 cm, generally < 1 mm wide, needle-like, bright green
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in leaf axils
Flower: sepals fused in basal 1/3, petal-like; petals white to pinkish
Fruit > 4 mm
Ecology: Disturbed, open, sandy areas
Elevation: < 50 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast (Humboldt Co.)
Distribution outside California: native to sw Europe

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