Cassiope mertensiana

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Cassiope mertensiana
Cassiope mertensiana 9193.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Cassiope
Species: C. mertensiana
Binomial name
Cassiope mertensiana
(Bong.) G. Don

Cassiope mertensiana is a species of flowering plant known by the common names western moss heather and white mountain heather.

This heather is native to subalpine areas of western North America, from Alaska to the mountains of California. It is a small, branching shrub which forms patches along the ground and in rocky crevices.


Cassiope mertensiana has short, erect, snakelike stems that are covered in tiny leathery scalelike leaves only a few millimeters long. From between the layers of scale leaves emerge reddish pedicels each bearing a petite, hanging, down-facing, bell-shaped flower. The bractlets are red and the contrasting flower is white.

The white flower contrasts with the red bractlets.

External links[edit]

Media related to Cassiope mertensiana at Wikimedia Commons