Wednesday, July 7, 2010

White heather at the shore of Twin Lakes

White heather is an evergreen with upward-angled, needle-like leaves. Plants, which grow in masses, typically start flowering in July. The plants in the picture (July 2) were found at the shore of Twin Lakes in the Sierra Nevada in California. Wet, rocky areas on open slopes near and above the timberline are their usual habitat. White heather mats have been located and described in places from Alaska to northern Nevada and central California.

White heather (Cassiope mertensiana), also named alpine heather or western moss heather, belongs—big surprise—to the heath family (Ericaceae). Flowering plants are easily identified by their white bells, hanging from tips of slender stalks and “hold” by reddish pink, finger-like sepals.

More about white heather:
[1] Cassiope mertensiana (Bong.) G. Don.
[2] White Mountain-heather.
[3] Cassiope mertensiana var. mertensiana. Western Moss Heather.
[4] Calflora: Cassiope mertensiana (Bong.) Don.

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