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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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



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.



Shrub, small tree, glabrous to hairy, rhizomed or not
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally evergreen, leathery; margins entire, rolled under or not
Inflorescence: panicle, raceme, or flowers solitary; bracts leaf-like; bractlets 2; pedicels jointed to flower
Flower: sepals 5, fused near base; petals 5, ± 1/2 fused, generally cup-shaped to rotate; stamens 10, filaments reflexed, anthers held in corolla pockets until dehiscing by separate slits, unawned; ovary superior, chambers 5, placentas axile
Fruit: capsule, septicidal, dehiscent tip to base
Seeds many per chamber, ovoid or not, winged or not
Species in genus: 10 species: North America
Etymology: (P. Kalm, student of Linnaeus, traveler in e North America., 1716–1779)
Reference: [Southall & Hardin 1974 J Elisha Mitchell Sci Soc 90:1–23]


K. polifolia Wangenh.

Plant generally rhizomed
Stem ascending, 1–5 dm, glabrous or puberulent
Leaf: blade 4–60 mm, 3–25 mm wide, ovate to oblong or obovate, upper surface glabrous, lower surface densely canescent
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in upper leaf axils
Flower: petals 7–11 mm, pink to rose-purple
Fruit 4–5 mm wide
Chromosomes: 2n=24,48
Ecology: Bogs, moist meadows, rock crevices
Elevation: generally 1000–3500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Warner Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Colorado, e N.America
Sspp. overlap in range and intergrade; more study needed to clarify status of subsp. microphylla , sometimes considered a sp
Horticultural information: DRN: 4, 5 &IRR or WET: 1, 2, 17 &SHD: 6, 14, 15, 16; acidic soil; DFCLT.

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