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Ericaceae A. L. Jussieu

ZAFFAR ALI

Trees, shrubs, undershrubs or perennial herbs. Leaves exstipulate, simple, alternate, opposite, or whorled, sometimes imbricate and appressed to the stem. Flowers axillary solitary or in terminal or axillary clusters, racemes or panicles, bisexual, actinomorphic or slightly zygomorphic, floral parts situated on or below a fleshy disc. Calyx 4-7-lobed, persistent. Corolla 4-7-lobed, usually gamopetalous, campanulate, saucer--shaped or urceolate, sometimes sepals and petals not distinguishable. Stamens often as many or twice as many as petals; free or adherent at base of corolla,, anthers sometimes spurred; dehiscing by apical pores or slits. Ovary inferior or superior, typically 5, sometimes 4-10-locular; placentation axile; ovules numerous; style often simple; stigma capitate. Fruit capsular; dehiscence loculicidal or septicidal. Seeds minute, numerous, endospermic. A family of about 50 genera and 1350 species, mostly inhabiting the temperate regions of the northern and southern hemispheres, less often sub-arctic and tropical. In West Pakistan the plants are confined to the mountains in the north.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480. Thanks are also due to Messrs B. L. Burtt, I. Hedge, and Miss J. Lamond of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, and Mr. A.R. Smith of the herbarium, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, for their helpful suggestions.


1 Leaves imbricate, appressed to the stem   Cassiope
+ Leaves alternate or clustered, not appressed to the stem   (2)
       
2 (1) Deciduous trees. Capsule with corky thick enings on the sutures   Lyonia
+ Evergreen trees or shrubs or shrublets. Capsule without corky thickenings on the sutures   (3)
       
3 (2) Stem wiry. Flowers solitary or in racemes. Calyx in fruit succulent   Gaultheria
+ Stem not wiry. Flowers in terminal clusters. Calyx in fruit not succulent   Rhododendron

Lower Taxa


 

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