Ericaceae subfam. Vaccinioideae
M. Napier, Encycl. Brit. ed. 7 5: 118. 1832. (as Vaccinieae)
Subshrubs, shrubs, vines, or trees, usually multicellular-hairy (margins of leaves usually glandular-hairy), or sometimes absent (Andromeda); bark smooth or furrowed, not flaky. Stems erect, arching, spreading, creeping, or procumbent. Leaves deciduous or persistent, alternate, sometimes pseudoverticillate (Pieris); petiole usually present, sometimes absent (some species of Vaccinium); blade plane, abaxial groove absent. Inflorescences usually axillary, sometimes terminal, usually panicles or racemes, sometimes corymbs or fascicles, sometimes solitary flowers, (borne on leafy twigs, except Zenobia on leafless twigs); perulae absent; bracts much shorter than sepals (sometimes absent). Flowers pendulous; perianth and androecium hypogynous or epigynous (Gaylussacia, Vaccinium); sepals (4-)5[-8]; petals 4-5(-6), connate (rarely distinct or nearly so in some species of Vaccinium), corolla deciduous, campanulate, cylindric, or urceolate, lobes usually much shorter (sometimes longer) than tube; intrastaminal nectary disc absent or present; stamens 8-10[-16]; anthers dehiscent by terminal pores or short slits; ovary 5- or 10-locular; placentation axile; style straight. Fruits capsular, dehiscence loculicidal, or baccate or drupaceous, indehiscent. Seeds 2-300, distinct, ovoid or obovoid to ellipsoid, lanceoloid, or conic, to angular or wedge- or crescent-shaped, usually not winged, sometimes slightly winged or tailed.
Nearly worldwide, especially arctic, temperate, and alpine areas, also very diverse in neotropical cloud forests.
Genera 46, species ca. 1600 (12 genera, 58 species in the flora)