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Monotropastrum humile 3.JPG
Monotropastrum humile
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Monotropoideae
Arn. (1832)

The Monotropoideae are a flowering plant subfamily in the family Ericaceae, described in 1832 by George Arnott Walker-Arnott.[1] It contains species formerly classified in the separate families Monotropaceae and Pyrolaceae, now obsolete.[2]

The species in this subfamily are all myco-heterotrophic or mixotrophic, relying on fungal root symbionts for all or part of their carbon nutrition.[3][4] This type of parasitic symbiosis is called monotropoid mycorrhiza and can be very specific in terms of the fungi involved.[3][5]


Tribe Monotropeae[edit]

Tribe Pyroleae[edit]

The genera are native to cool temperate and arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The common name wintergreen (shared by several other plants) derives from their evergreen leaves.[citation needed]

The leaves are typically alternate or basal, and are always evergreen. The flowers are regular, most often with five sepals, five petals, and 10 anthers. The fruit are dry dehiscent capsules.[citation needed]

Tribe Pterosporeae[edit]


  1. ^ Walker-Arnott GA. (1832). In: Encyclopedia Britannica (ed. Napier M.) 5 (7th ed.). p. 118. 
  2. ^ Kron KA, Judd WS, Stevens PF, Crayn DM, Anderberg AA, Gadek PA, Quinn CJ, Luteyn JL. (2002). "Phylogenetic Classification of Ericaceae: Molecular and Morphological Evidence". The Botanical Review 68 (3): 335–423. doi:10.1663/0006-8101(2002)068[0335:pcoema];2. 
  3. ^ a b Bidartondo MI, Bruns TD. (2001). "Extreme specificity in epiparasitic Monotropoideae (Ericaceae): widespread phylogenetic and geographical structure". Molecular Ecology 10 (9): 2285–2295. doi:10.1046/j.1365-294X.2001.01358.x. 
  4. ^ Tedersoo L, Pellet P, Kõljalg U, Selosse M-A. (2007). "Parallel evolutionary paths to mycoheterotrophy in understorey Ericaceae and Orchidaceae: ecological evidence for mixotrophy in Pyroleae". Oecologia 151 (2): 206–217. doi:10.1007/s00442-006-0581-2. 
  5. ^ Smith SE, Read D. (2008). Mycorrhizal Symbiosis (3rd ed.). Amsterdam; Boston: Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-370526-6. 

External links[edit]