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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, tree, glabrous to hairy, rhizomed or not; burls generally 0
Stem trailing to erect
Leaves alternate
Inflorescence: raceme or flowers solitary, bracted; bud scales present; bractlets generally 2
Flower: sepals 4–5, 2/3 to fully fused (lobes then 0); petals generally 4–5, ± 2/3 fused, cylindric to urn- or cup-shaped, generally white; stamens 8 or 10, filaments generally glabrous, anthers elongate, dehiscent by pores on small tubes, awned or not; ovary inferior, chambers 4–5 (or appearing 10 by intrusion of ovary wall), placentas axile, stigma head-like
Fruit: berry
Seeds generally many
Species in genus: 400+ species: temp n hemisphere, tropical mtns, Africa
Etymology: (Latin: for V. myrtillus L.)
[Vander Kloet 1988 The genus Vaccinium in North America]


V. uliginosum L. subsp. occidentale (A. Gray) Hultén


Shrub, glabrous, rhizomed or not
Stem erect, < 6 dm, or prostrate, generally rooting; twigs not angled, not green
Leaves deciduous, 1–2 cm; blade elliptic to ovate, ± thick, entire, glaucous or not, lower surface visibly but not prominently veined
Inflorescence: generally raceme; flowers 1–4; bractlets 0; pedicels not jointed to flower
Flower: calyx lobes 4–5, > tube, triangular, persistent; anthers awned
Fruit < 6 mm diam, blue-black, glaucous
Ecology: Bogs, wet meadows
Elevation: < 3400 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, Nevada
Synonyms: V. o. A. Gray
Circumboreal complex; needs study. Some NCo plants with prominently veined leaves and fruit > 6 mm diam may be subsp. u., which is characteristic of lowland n Eur
Horticultural information: WET, DRN: 14, 15, 16, 17.

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