Cassiope mertensiana (Bong.) G. Don
Western Moss Heather, Western Moss-heather
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
USDA Symbol: CAME7
A low, matted, evergreen shrub with tough branches up to 12 in. tall. Small white bell-like flowers hang from the tips of slender stalks that grow from the axils near the ends of the branches on this matted plant. One to few bell-shaped flowers are borne near the branch tips. Because the flowers are pendent, the reddish sepals are visible.
The somewhat star-like white flowers may have inspired the genus name of this plant, for in Greek mythology Cassiopeia was set among the stars as a constellation. Firemoss Cassiope (C. tetragona), near the Canadian border, has a prominent groove on the lower side of each leaf. Starry Cassiope (C. stellariana), which grows in bogs from Mount Rainier northward, has alternate, spreading leaves.
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Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AK , CA , ID , MT , OR , WA
Native Distribution: AK to CA, e. to the Canadian Rockies & MT
Native Habitat: Rocky Mt. slopes from timberline upward
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Cool, damp, gritty soil.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
Cassiope Blue |
Learn more at BAMONA
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Cassiope mertensiana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Cassiope mertensiana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Cassiope mertensiana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-08-19
Research By: TWC Staff