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

10. Gaylussacia ursina (M. A. Curtis) Torrey & A. Gray, Mem. Amer. Acad. Arts, n. s. 3: 49. 1846.

Bear or mountain huckleberry

Vaccinium ursinum M. A. Curtis, Amer. J. Sci. Arts 44: 82. 1843; Decachaena ursina (M. A. Curtis) Small

Plants 3-10(-15) dm, forming small to extensive colonies; branches spreading; twigs of current season pale green to light brown, sparsely hairy. Leaves: petiole 1-2 mm; blade greenish white abaxially, green to yellowish green or reddish green adaxially, ovate to oblong, 2.5-6 × 2.3-4 cm, membranous, base rounded to cuneate, margins entire, apex acute to acuminate, abaxial surface sessile-glandular, hairy along veins, adaxial surface glabrous. Inflorescences spreading or drooping, 4-6-flowered, bracteate, 0.7-2.5 cm, glabrous; bracts early-deciduous, leaflike, 1-2 mm, shorter than pedicels, glabrous, sessile-glandular. Pedicels 6-9 mm, sparsely hairy (hairs red), sessile-glandular; bracteoles 1-2, 1-1.5 mm. Flowers: sepals 5, 0.5 mm, glabrous, sparsely sessile-glandular; petals 4-5, corolla greenish white, urceolate, 4-5 mm, lobes ovate-deltate, ca. 1 mm; filaments 3-3.5 mm, glabrous; anthers included, 1 mm, thecae not divergent; ovary glabrous. Drupes juicy, sweet, glossy black, 7-10 mm diam., glabrous. Seeds 1 mm, smooth.

Flowering late spring. Deciduous or open pine woods (often dominant in Table Mountain Pine-Pitch Pine Woodland), common in moister forests downslope, often associated with Rhododendron maximum; 500-1500 m; Ga., N.C., S.C., Tenn.

Gaylussacia ursina is a southern Appalachian Mountains endemic that often forms large, clonal patches; it is abundant within much of its narrow range.


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