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A large family of dicotyledonous plants in the order Ericales distinguished by having twice as many stamens as corolla lobes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of dicotyledonous plants comprising low evergreen shrubs or (rarely) semishrubs, lianas, and trees. Leaves are usually alternate; flowers are bisexual and sometimes single, although more often formed in umbellate, racemic, or panicular inflorescences. There are four or five each of sepals and petals—rarely, the number is as high as eight each. The corolla is usually brightly colored, and the fruit is boll-like or drupelike. There are about 50 genera and 1,750 species inhabiting both hemispheres, from the arctic deserts to the tropics. In the USSR, 21 genera and over 50 species are found. There are some ornamentals (such as species of rhododendron, erica, and the strawberry tree). Among the wild Ericaceae, the most widespread are Korean rhododendron, heather, butterbur, and bearberry. Micorhiza often form on the roots of Ericaceae; for this reason the plants are able to grow on nitrogen-poor boggy or sandy soils. Sometimes the bilberry family is considered part of the Ericaceae family.


Bush, E. A., and A. N. Poiarkova. “Vereskovye.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 18. Moscow-Leningrad, 1952.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
uliginosum), crowberry (Empetrum nigrum, Empetraceae), twinflower (Linnaea borealis, Caprifoliaceae), one-flowered shinleaf (Moneses uniflora, Pyrolaceae), dwarf rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera repens, Orchidaceae), club mosses such as the stiff club moss (Lycopodium annotinum, Lycopodiaceae), and horsetails such as Equisetum sylvaticum (Equisetaceae).
Ingestion and dispersal: direct and indirect effects of frugivores on seed viability and germination of Corema album (Empetraceae).
Prior to 1993, evolutionary relationships among the Ericaceae, Empetraceae, and Epacridaceae were addressed using a traditional "evolutionary taxonomic" approach.
Additional samples were used to represent clades previously identified in other cladistic studies (Anderberg, 1993; Judd & Kron, 1993; Kron & Chase, 1993) as well as major groups traditionally recognized within the Ericaceae, Epacridaceae, and Empetraceae. Subfamilies and tribes for which there was reason to suspect para- or polyphyly (e.g., traditionally recognized groups for which there were no known consistently diagnostic characters) were sampled more intensively than were those likely to be monophyletic as shown in previous studies (Anderberg, 1992; Crayn et al., 1998; Kron, 1996, 1997; Kron & Judd, 1997).
These sequences were used to construct phylogenetic trees for purposes of determining the following: sister groups to the Ericaceae; relationships of Empetraceae and Epacridaceae to Ericaceae; tribal relationships within Ericaceae.
Previous studies of the limits of Ericaceae (Anderberg, 1992, 1993; Judd & Kron, 1993; Kron, 1996; Kron & Chase, 1993) indicated that Epacridaceae and Empetraceae are nested within the traditionally defined Ericaceae.
Phylogenetic relationships of Empetraceae, Epacridaceae, Ericaceae, Monotropaceae, and Pyrolacene: Evidence from nuclear ribosomal 18s sequence data.
Those that retained wind pollination include members of several monocot (Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and Poaceae) and dicot families (Chenopodiaceae, Empetraceae, Euphorbiaceae [Fig.