Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

Colors

Data mode

Account

Login
Sign up

Key to Ericaceae, Key C: Evergreen subshrubs and sprawling shrubs

Click the number at the start of a key lead to highlight both that lead and its corresponding lead. Click again to show only the two highlighted leads. Click a third time to return to the full key with the selected leads still highlighted.

1 Plant erect, the leaves few (< 10), clustered near the apex of the single stem.
..2 Leaves obovate, 1-2× as long as wide; fruit a red berry, borne on nodding axillary pedicels beneath the leaves
..2 Leaves lanceolate or oblanceolate, normally 2-4× as long as wide (sometimes proportionately less narrow in stunted individuals; fruit a capsule, borne 1-several on an erect scape above the leaves.
....3 Leaves lanceolate (broadest below the middle), base rounded, striped with white or paler green along the major veins
....3 Leaves oblanceolate (broadest above the middle), base cuneate, solid dark green throughout
1 Plant creeping or sprawling, leaves scattered along the stems, or tufted at the base.
......4 Leaves 2-15 cm wide; leaves (2-) 3.5-15 cm long, rounded or subcordate at the base.
........5 Leaves dull green, with a pebbled texture, pilose (glabrate in age)
........5 Leaves bright shiny green (or purple), with a smooth texture, glabrous.
..........6 Leaves orbicular, the venation palmate, the apex rounded or with a slight point, finely serrate (4-8 teeth per cm), the teeth not prominently mucronate; flowers in racemes; [widespread in distribution]
..........6 Leaves broadly elliptic, the venation pinnate, the apex generally emarginate (slightly notched), coarsely serrate (1-4 teeth per cm), the teeth prominently mucronate; flowers solitary; [native to humid gorges along the escarpment between the Mountains and Piedmont, sometimes cultivated and becoming established elsewhere]
......4 Leaves 0-1.5 cm wide; leaves 0.5-3 cm long, cuneate at the base (at least widely so), glabrous (or bristly beneath in Gaultheria hispidula).
............7 Leaves linear, < 2 mm wide.
..............8 Leaves (3.3) 4-10 mm long; leaves lanceolate, averaging > 1.0 mm wide (oblanceolate and up to 2.5 mm wide if etiolated under leaf litter); leaves (in fresh material) herbaceous in texture, < 0.1 mm thick; leaves of sterile shoots ciliate along the margins at the base, usually also pubescent on the upper surface near the base, but the pubescence rarely extending > 1/3 of the way from the base to the tip; internodes usually > 1 mm long
..............8 Leaves 1-5 mm long (rarely to 7 mm long if etiolated under leaf litter); leaves ovate, averaging < 1.2 mm wide (lanceolate and up to 1.5 mm wide if etiolated under leaf litter); leaves (in fresh material) succulent in texture, up to 0.5 mm thick; leaves of sterile shoots lanose to densely pubescent on the upper surface at the base, the pubescence becoming sparser toward the tip of the leaf, but extending past the midpoint of the leaf and often its full length; internodes usually < 1 mm long
............7 Leaves broader, > 2 mm wide.
................9 Leaves serrate or serrulate (sometimes inconspicuously so); [of pinelands of the Coastal Plain and (very rarely) lower Piedmont of se. VA southward].
..................10 Leaves (2-) 3-18 (-25) mm long, generally elliptic (less commonly ovate or obovate); angle of leaf base typically > 90 degrees; margins finely glandular mucronulate-crenulate, the teeth tightly appressed and therefore often obscure, the margin superficially entire; stems mostly prostrate (ascending in areas that have been long fire-suppressed); [widespread in NC and SC, rare in se. VA and e. GA]
..................10 Leaves (4-) 7-35 (-63) mm long, elliptic to obovate (less commonly elliptic-ovate); angle of leaf base typically < 90 degrees; margins glandular mucronulate-serrulate to serrulate-crenulate, the teeth apparent, especially toward the apex; stems often ascending to upright; [of Lexington County, SC]
................9 Leaves entire; [of the Mountains of VA northward, except Vaccinium macrocarpon of bogs, as far south as se. sc. and sw. NC].
....................11 Leaves 10-30 mm long; leaves oblanceolate to obovate, the widest point past the middle; primary stems 1-3 mm in diameter; [of relatively dry, rocky habitats]
....................11 Leaves (3-) 5-10 (-18) mm long; leaves ovate or elliptic, the widest point below or at the middle; primary stems delicate; [of moist to distinctly boggy habitats].
......................12 Leaf undersurface green, sparsely bristly; [of moist habitats]
......................12 Leaf undersurface whitened, glabrous; [of saturated wetlands].
........................13 Leaves elliptic, broadest near middle, (5-) 7-10 (-18) mm long, (2-) 3-4 (-5) mm wide; leaves blunt-rounded and non-involute; pedicels with 2 green, leaf-like bracts 1-2 mm wide; berry 8-15 mm in diameter
........................13 Leaves ovate, broadest toward base, (3-) 5-6 (-9) mm long, (1-) 2-3 (-5) mm wide; leaves involute at least along the margins, thus making the leaf tip acute; pedicels with (0-) 2 (-5) reddish, scale-like bracts < 1 mm wide; berry 6-12 mm in diameter