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.



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, generally matted, glabrous to glandular, generally rhizomed
Stem decumbent, rooting, rough from persistent, decurrent leaf bases
Leaves alternate, crowded, < 5 mm wide, linear, needle-like, evergreen, leathery; margin strongly rolled under; lower surface channeled
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in axils of leaf-like bracts, ± clustered near stem tip; bractlets 2; pedicels jointed to flower
Flower: sepals 5, fused at base; petals 5, ± 4/5 fused, urn- to cup-shaped; stamens generally 10, anthers elongate, dehiscent by short separate slits, unawned; ovary superior, chambers 5, placentas axile
Fruit: capsule, septicidal, dehiscent tip to base
Seeds many per chamber, narrowly winged
Species in genus: 4–7 species: circumboreal
Etymology: (Greek: a sea nymph; possibly "leaf similar," from resemblance to Erica )

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