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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 8 | Ericaceae | Gaultheria

2. Gaultheria humifusa (Graham) Rydberg, Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 1: 300. 1900.

Alpine spicy wintergreen

Vaccinium humifusum Graham, Edinburgh New Philos. J. 11: 193. 1831; Gaultheria myrsinites Hooker

Subshrubs, creeping, mat-forming, stoloniferous; roots adventitious or fibrous. Stems spreading and repent, 10-30 cm, (slender), usually hirtellous, sometimes glabrous. Leaf blades orbiculate, ovate, or broadly elliptic, 1-2.5 cm, base obtuse to rounded, margins serrulate (teeth bristle-tipped), apex obtuse or acute, surfaces glabrous. Inflorescences axillary, solitary flowers; bracts green with reddish margins, broadly ovate, 2.5-3 mm, exceeding sepals, glabrous. Pedicels green, 0.5-1.5 mm, glabrous; bracteoles 1-3, green or pink-tinged, deltate, 0.5-1 mm, glabrous. Flowers: sepals 5, connate ca. 1/2 their lengths, red to deep pink, narrowly ovate, 2-2.5 mm, glabrous; petals 5, connate basally, white to pale pink, 2.5-4 mm, glabrous, corolla campanulate, lobes (spreading), 1.5-3 mm; filaments broadest proximally, glabrous; anthers without awns, dehiscent by terminal pores. Fruits red, 5-7 mm wide.

Flowering Jun-Jul; fruiting Jul-Sep. Coniferous woodlands and in moist soils along stream banks, subalpine to alpine wet meadows, rocky mountain slopes; 900-3700 m; Alta., B.C.; Calif., Colo., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash., Wyo.


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