E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Menziesia ferruginea Sm.
false azalea (rusty menziesia)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #70589)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Menziesia ferruginea
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.


Until 2016, two subspecies of this taxon were recognized in BC: ssp. ferruginea and ssp. glabella. Illustrations still reflect the former taxonomy.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.


Erect to spreading, straggly shrub; stems 0.5-2 m tall, somewhat skunky odour when crushed, finely hairy, hairs somewhat glandular and rusty-coloured; older branches with loosely shredding bark, often glabrous.
Deciduous, alternate, clustered at stem tips, thin, elliptic to broadly egg-shaped, 1-6 cm long, 0.3-2 cm wide, glandular-hairy on both surfaces, pale beneath, margins fine-toothed and fringed; stalks
In (1) 2- to 10-flowered clusters, terminal on shoots of previous year; flower stalks 0.7-3.5 cm long, short-hairy to conspicuously glandular-hairy, curved downward in flower, erect in fruit; corollas salmon to greenish-orange, urn-shaped, 4-lobed, 6-9 mm long; calyces saucer-shaped, indistinctly 4-lobed, 1 mm long or less, glandular-hairy along margins; stamens glabrous to sparsely hairy near the base.
Capsules, egg-shaped to lance egg-shaped, 5-7 mm long.
Two infraspecific entities are generally recognized.

1. Leaves pointed, with glandular hairs; calyces glandular-hairy on margins; ovaries glandular-hairy..................ssp. ferruginea

1. Leaves more than pointed, minutely-hairy on both sides, less conspicuously long-hairy above and less glandular below; calyces usually finely hairy as well as glandular hairy on margins; ovaries finely- and glandular-hairy..................ssp. glabella (A. Gray) Calder & Taylor.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to wet forests in the lowland, montane and subalpine zones; common on the coast and in WC to NW BC (ssp. ferruginea) and SE BC (ssp. glabella); N to AK and S YT, and S to N CA (ssp. ferruginea), E to W AB, and S to WY, E WA, and OR (ssp. glabella).

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Menziesia ferruginea

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 935 2750
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 420
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 346 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(9), BWBS(4), CDF(1), CMA(1), CWH(2692), ESSF(2063), ICH(1344), IDF(32), MH(399), MS(409), PP(1), SBPS(2), SBS(201)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, Western North American deciduous shrub distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions, and marginally in the Central region. Occurs on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-poor soils within boreal, cool temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence increases with increasing precipitation. Scattered to plentiful in coniferous forests on water-shedding sites; with acid forest floors. On nutrient-rich sites, restricted to decaying coniferous wood. Typically associated with Hylocomium splendens, Rhytidiadelphus loreus, Rhytidiopsis robusta, Vaccinium species. An oxylophytic species characteristic of Mor humus forms

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Menziesia ferruginea subsp. glabella (A. Gray) Calder & Roy L. Taylor
Menziesia ferruginea var. glabella (A. Gray) M. Peck
Menziesia glabella A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References