Cassiope tetragona

(Linnaeus) D. Don

Edinburgh New Philos. J. 17: 158. 1834 ,.

Common names: Arctic white heather
Basionyms: Andromeda tetragona Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 1: 393. 1753
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 8. Treatment on page 447. Mentioned on page 446.

Stems decumbent to erect, forming dense mats, hairy. Leaves closely imbricate, usually appressed to pair above, usually 4-ranked (decussate); blade narrowly triangular, dorsiventrally expanded marginally forming abaxial groove, 3–6 × 1–1.5 mm, margins thin, without curled hairs at leaf tips, surfaces with short, stiff pubescence. Flowers: sepals 2–3 mm, margins entire; petals connate to 2/3 their lengths, tips spreading to recurved, corolla white to yellowish, cylindric, 4–10 mm; stamens 2 mm. Capsules 3–5 mm. 2n = 26.

Distribution

V8 879-distribution-map.gif

Alta., B.C., N.W.T., Nfld. and Labr., Nunavut, Yukon, Alaska, Mont., Wash., Eurasia

Discussion

Subspecies 2 (2 in the flora).

The Arctic plants of Cassiope tetragona all belong to subsp. tetragona, which is partially replaced by and partly sympatric with subsp. saximontana in northern Cordilleran areas of western Canada, Alaska, Montana, and Washington. The latter differs in pedicel length relative to leaf length and the length of the corolla.

Arctic white heather has traditionally been used by the Inuit for lighting fires. Some Inuit call it itsutit, meaning “fuel for the fire,” plantiksutit, or qijuktaat, meaning “wood fetched.” The flowers are said to taste awful (I. Ootoova et al. 2001).

The subspecies of Cassiope tetragona can generally be distinguished by the characters in the following key. The ranges overlap in Alaska and Yukon, and some collections from this region may prove problematic to assign to either subspecies.

Selected References

None.

Key

1 Pedicels extending beyond branch tips, 10+ mm, usually 3+ times leaf length, elongating in fruit; corollas 6-10 mm. Cassiope tetragona subsp. tetragona
1 Pedicels not extending beyond branch tips, to 8 mm, usually to 3 times leaf length, not elongating in fruit; corollas 4-6 mm. Cassiope tetragona subsp. saximontana

"/3" is not declared as a valid unit of measurement for this property.

... more about "Cassiope tetragona"
Gary D. Wallace +
(Linnaeus) D. Don +
furrowed +  and smooth +
not flaky +
Andromeda tetragona +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.6 cm6 mm <br />0.006 m <br />) +
triangular +
expanded +
coriaceous +
1mm;1.5mm +
subglobose +  and ovoid +
0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br /> (0.5 cm5 mm <br />0.005 m <br />) +
Arctic white heather +
white +  and yellowish +
rotate to crateriform campanulate cylindric globose or urceolate +
0.4 cm4 mm <br />0.004 m <br /> (1 cm10 mm <br />0.01 m <br />) +
Alta. +, B.C. +, N.W.T. +, Nfld. and Labr. +, Nunavut +, Yukon +, Alaska +, Mont. +, Wash. +  and Eurasia +
undifferentiated +
fusiform +
not enlarged +
unisexual +  and bisexual +
loculicidal +
multicellular +
4-ranked +  and imbricate +
persistent +
revolute;plane;toothed;entire;revolute;plane;toothed;entire +
parietal +, axile +  and placentation +
subglobose +  and ovoid +
tenuinucellate +  and unitegmic +
elongating +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (?) +
reduced +
not sticky +
4-5-carpellate +
Edinburgh New Philos. J. +
distinct +
ellipsoid +  and ovoid +
distinct +
oblong-ovate +
0.2 cm2 mm <br />0.002 m <br /> (0.3 cm3 mm <br />0.003 m <br />) +
mat-forming +
prostrate +  and decumbent +
decumbent +  and erect +
peltate +  and capitate +
straight +
cylindric +
hairy +, glandular +  and glabrous +
Undefined tribe Cassiopeae +
Cassiope tetragona +
Cassiope +
species +
spreading +  and recurved +
achlorophyllous +  and chlorophyllous +
evergreen +, deciduous +  and perennial +
heterotrophic +, autotrophic +  and mycotrophic +