Ericaceae (Heath Family)
General - low, erect shrub up to 50 cm tall; sparse, rising branche; round stems, hairless, bark, grey to blackish.
Leaves - alternate; linear to narrowly elliptic, tipped with a sharp spine, tapering at the base to a short leafstalk; evergreen, firm and leathery; dark often bluish-green above, leathery, distinctly white below, with fine, waxy powder; dull green above, with sunken veins; edges rolled under.
Flowers - appearing in small, drooping clusters at the branch tips; individual flowers small (5-7 mm long), shaped like urns, white to pinkish with 5 outwardly curved lobes; appearing in late May to June.
Fruit - small, round, erect, 5-valved capsules.
Throughout eastern boreal forests as far west as Saskatchewan. Infrequent; on wet, organic soils, especially in black spruce peatlands and open bogs and fens.
May be confused with a non-flowering Bog Laurel which, on close inspection, has opposite, shiny leaves and a flattened stem. Dwarf Bog-Rosemary Andromeda polifolia is related, found in fens and occasionally in bogs; widespread across boreal forest and north past the treeline to the Arctic coast; circumpolar.
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