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

Phyllodoce empetriformis (Sm.) D. Don
pink mountain-heather (pink mountainheath)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #72913)

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Distribution of Phyllodoce empetriformis
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Species Information

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Low, matted shrub; stems ascending, 5-40 cm tall, finely hairy and glandular, becoming glabrous.
Alternate, evergreen, spreading-ascending, linear or linear-oblong, 3-15 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, blunt to nearly pointed, deeply grooved beneath, margins appearing to be rolled under, glabrous except margins with small, fine, glandular teeth.
Several to many, in terminal clusters, fragrant, nodding; flower stalks about 2 cm long, finely glandular-hairy; corollas deep pinkish-rose, bell-shaped, 5-9 mm long, glabrous externally, the lobes curved back; calyces reddish, 2-3 mm long, lobes lance egg-shaped, blunt, glabrous except for finely fringed margins; stamens 10, included; filaments glabrous, anthers reddish.
Capsules, nearly globe-shaped, 2.5-3.5 mm long, 3-4 mm wide, glandular-hairy.
The hybrid between P. empetriformis and P. glanduliflora is known as P. x intermedia (Hook.) Rydb., and is quite common where the two occur together. The hybrids generally have white to pale rose corollas, and other intermediate characters.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist open forests, meadows and heath in the upper montane to alpine zones; frequent throughout BC except in the NE and on the Queen Charlotte Islands; N to SE AK, YT, and NT, E to W AB, and S to CA, ID, and MT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Phyllodoce empetriformis

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) 6 1774 2630
Slope Gradient (%) 0 26 270
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 252 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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(102), BAFA(48), BWBS(2), CMA(67), CWH(53), ESSF(1330), ICH(5), IMA(62), MH(307), MS(17), SBPS(2), SBS(4), SWB(16)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, sub­alpine to alpine, oxylophytic, Asian and West­ern North American evergreen shrub; distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Species occurs on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-poor soils in alpine tundra and subalpine boreal climates. Common, frequently dominant, in high-elevation, parkland forests and heath communities on water-shedding sites which are often affected by seepage from late-melting snowbanks. Characteristic of alpine communities.

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 alpine tundra & boreal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References