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Phyllodoce empetriformis (Pink mountain heath)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Phyllodoce empetriformis

Phyllodoce empetriformis (Sm.) D. Don

Pink Mountain Heath, Pink Mountain Heather

Ericaceae (Heath Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A low, heather-like shrub from 4-20 in. tall, Pink Mountain Heath forms wide mats. The dense, evergreen foliage is dark-green and needle-like. Bell-shaped, pinkish-lavender, pendent flowers occur in clusters at the tips of the branches.

Brewer's Mountain Heather (P. breweri), from the California mountains, has pink flowers and stamens longer than the corolla. Cream Mountain Heather (P. glanduliflora), growing in the mountains from Oregon and Wyoming northward, has glandular hairs on a yellowish or greenish-white corolla.


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AZ , CA , ID , MT , OR , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , SK
Native Distribution: AK, s. in the high mts. to CA & CO
Native Habitat: Moist slopes above 5000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, sandy or rocky soil with peat.
Conditions Comments: Another Phyllodoce species with a similar range, P. glanduliflora, has yellow flowers. Where the two species coexist an attractive natural hybrid, P. x intermedia, often results.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Alternatives to non-native heather (Calluna vulgaris)
April 27, 2007
I live in Vernon, BC, Canada. I plan to put a heather plant in my garden, but my space is limited. I know that it will grow approx. 2 ft. high and that it likes well drained and acidic soil, but how...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Phyllodoce empetriformis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phyllodoce empetriformis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phyllodoce empetriformis


Record Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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