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Cassiope mertensiana 9197.JPG
Cassiope mertensiana
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Subfamily: Cassiopoideae
Kron & Judd[2]
Genus: Cassiope

Cassiope is a genus of 9-12 small shrubby species in the family Ericaceae. It is the sole genus in the subfamily Cassiopoideae. They are native to the Arctic and north temperate montane regions. The genus is named after Cassiopeia of Greek mythology. Common names, shared with several other similar related genera, include heather and heath. They have scale-like leaves lying against the stems, and produce solitary bell-shaped flowers in late spring. Though hardy, flowers can be damaged by late frosts.

They are cultivated in gardens, suitable sites being rock gardens, peat banks or glades in woodland areas.[3] The hybrid cultivars 'Randle Cook'[4] and ‘Muirhead’[5] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017).[6]


  1. ^ Don, David (1834). "An Attempt at a New Arrangement of the Ericaceæ". The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal. 17: 157–158. 
  2. ^ Kron, K. A.; Judd, W. S.; Stevens, P. F.; Crayn, D. M.; Anderberg, A. A.; Gadek, P. A.; Quinn, C. J.; Luteyn, J. L. (2002). "Phylogenetic Classification of Ericaceae: Molecular and Morphological Evidence". The Botanical Review. 68 (3): 362, 404–405, 422. doi:10.1663/0006-8101(2002)068[0335:PCOEMA]2.0.CO;2. 
  3. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Cassiope 'Randle Cook'". Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Cassiope 'Muirhead'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 21 January 2018. 
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 16. Retrieved 24 January 2018. 

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