Family, Heath. Color, white, sometimes tinted with light pink. Leaves, linear or lance-shape, on short petioles, with revolute margins, thick, glossy, evergreen, pointed, white underneath. Calyx, of 5 nearly separate divisions. Corolla, round, tubular, nearly closing at the mouth, 5-angled. Stamens, short, with divided, brown anthers opening in pores at the top. Fruit, a 5-celled, many-seeded capsule. A low, smooth shrub, 6 to 18 inches high, with terminal umbels of flowers.
Linnaeus himself named it after the fabled Andromeda. He came across it in Lapland, and says:
" This plant is always fixed on some little turfy hillock in the midst of the swamps, as Andromeda herself was chained to a rock in the sea, which bathed her feet, as the fresh water does the roots of this plant. Dragons and venomous serpents surrounded her, as toads and other reptiles frequent the abode of her vegetable resembler. ... As the distressed virgin cast down her blushing face through excessive affliction, so does this rosy-colored flower hang its head, growing paler and paler, till it withers away. . . . At length comes Perseus, in the shape of summer, dries up the surrounding water, and destroys the monsters."
Wet, boggy places in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, northward and westward.