Dwarf shrub, mat-forming; stems stiff, ascending, 5-30 cm tall, nearly completely concealed by the leaves, about 4 mm wide including appressed leaves, glabrous or finely hairy.
Evergreen, opposite, distinctly in 4 rows, appressed, egg- to lance-shaped, 2-5 mm long, rounded on the back, grooved only at the extreme base, glabrous or fringed with minutely glandular tiny hairs or longer chaff-like, early deciduous, white hairs; unstalked.
Solitary in leaf axils, usually several near the branch tips, nodding on glabrous or short-hairy stalks 5-30 mm long; corollas white, bell-shaped, 6-8 mm long, the lobes egg-shaped and about 1/3 the length of the tube; calyces reddish, egg-shaped, 2.5-3 mm long, entire to irregular-toothed; stamens not enlarged at the base.
Capsules, nearly globe-shaped, about 4 mm wide.
BC material is var. mertensiana, although some is transitional to the more southern var. gracilis (Piper) C.L. Hitchc.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Cassiope mertensiana (Bong.) G. Don
1. Leaves prominently grooved on the back...............Cassiope tetragona
1. Leaves not prominently grooved on the back...................2
2. Leaves in four distinct rows, not paper-margined; branches, including foliage, about 4 mm wide........................Cassiope mertensiana
2. Leaves not in four distinct rows, paper-margined; branches, including foliage, about 2 mm wide.........................Cassiope lycopodioides