This Family contains many fine shrubs as well as herbs. The flowers are regular, the corolla consisting of 4 or 5 petals, or, if tubular, as many lobes. Stamens are of the same number as the petals. They open by means of little holes or chinks, and this is an unfailing mark by which the Heaths may be recognized.

Many small inhabitants of the woods are heaths, as the wintergreen, pyrola, pipsissewa, Indian pipe, and bear-berry. Here the cranberry, of Thanksgiving fame, belongs, also the blueberry and huckleberry. Others are rhododendrons, laurels, azaleas, and the fragrant clethra. Some, as the Indian pipe, are parasitic plants without green leaves or stems.