Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Vaccinium membranaceum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: VacciniumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub, [tree] glabrous to hairy, rhizomed or not, burls generally 0. Stem: trailing to erect. Leaf: cauline, alternate. Inflorescence: raceme or flowers 1, bracted; bud scales present; bractlets generally 2. Flower: sepals 4--5, 2/3 to fully fused; corolla cylindric to urn- or cup-shaped, petals generally 4--5, +- 2/3 fused, generally white; stamens 8 or 10, filaments generally glabrous, anthers elongate, awned or not, dehiscing by pores on small tubes; ovary inferior, chambers 4--5, or appearing 10 by intrusion of ovary wall, placentas axile, stigma head-like. Fruit: berry. Seed: generally many.
Species In Genus: 400+ species: temperate northern hemisphere, tropical mountains, Africa. Etymology: (Latin: for Vaccinium myrtillus L.)
Unabridged Note: Vaccinium oxycoccos L. reported from California; records lacking.

Vaccinium membranaceum Douglas ex Torr.
Habit: Shrub, +- glabrous, rhizome generally 0. Stem: erect, generally 5--15 dm, not rooting; twigs weakly angled, yellow-green. Leaf: deciduous, 2--5 cm, generally ovate to elliptic or obovate, thin, membranous, serrate, teeth generally with a gland-tipped hair, abaxially with prominent veins, base often rounded to truncate, tip acute. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in axils of lowest leaves of youngest shoots; pedicel not jointed to flower, bractlets 2, scale-like. Flower: calyx lobes +- 0; corolla < 6 mm, cylindric to urn-shaped, +- pink; anthers awned. Fruit: 9--11 mm diam, black (dark red).
Ecology: Wet meadows, mountain slopes; Elevation: 1100--2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRH, n SNH, Wrn; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, South Dakota. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul Note: Study needed of Vaccinium coccineum Piper (Siskiyou Mountains huckleberry), a sporadic red-fruited form not treated by Vander Kloet.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace
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botanical illustration including Vaccinium membranaceum


Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace 2016. Vaccinium membranaceum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Vaccinium membranaceum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Keir Morse
Vaccinium membranaceum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Vaccinium membranaceum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Vaccinium membranaceum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Vaccinium membranaceum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Keir Morse
Vaccinium membranaceum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Vaccinium membranaceum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Vaccinium membranaceum:
KR, NCoRH, n SNH, Wrn;
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.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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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.