Cassiope mertensiana

(Bongard) G. Don

Gen. Hist. 3: 829. 1834,.

Basionym: Andromeda mertensiana Bongard Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. St.-Pétersbourg, Sér. 6, Sci. Math. 2: 152, plate 5. 1832
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 8. Treatment on page 447. Mentioned on page 446.

Stems spreading or ascending to erect, forming dense mats, puberulent, glandular-hairy, or glabrous. Leaves imbricate, somewhat appressed to leaf above, usually 4-ranked; blade ovate-lanceolate, abaxial groove absent, 3–4.5 × 1–1.5 mm, margins thin but not scarious, without curled hairs at leaf tips, surfaces glabrous to glandular-hairy or sparsely hairy. Flowers: sepals 2–3 mm, margins entire or erose; petals connate to 1/3 their lengths, tips recurved, corolla white, campanulate, 5–8 mm; stamens to 3 mm. Capsules 1.5–4 mm.


V8 882-distribution-map.gif

Alta., B.C., Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Wash.


Subspecies 4 (4 in the flora).

Four subspecies were recognized by Piper, based on differences in pubescence of the stems and leaf margins.

Selected References



1 Stems hairy, especially when young, glandular hairs absent; leaf blade margins glabrous. Cassiope mertensiana subsp. mertensiana
1 Stems glabrous or sparsely glandular-hairy when young; leaf blade margins glandular-hairy, scattered eglandular-hairy, or glabrous > 2
2 Leaf blade margins glabrous Cassiope mertensiana subsp. gracilis
2 Leaf blade margins glandular-hairy or scattered eglandular-hairy > 3
3 Leaf blade margins glandular-hairy; stems glabrous or sometimes sparsely glandular-hairy when young. Cassiope mertensiana subsp. californica
3 Leaf blade margins scattered, branched eglandular-hairy, especially when young; stems glabrous when young. Cassiope mertensiana subsp. ciliolata