A low shrub, with shreddy bark, alternate thin deciduous leaves clustered toward the ends of the branches, and small white clustered pedicelled flowers. Calyx 4-5-parted.

Corolla 4-5-toothed, the short teeth spreading or recurved. Stamens 8 or 10, included; anther with 2 recurved dorsal awns. Ovary 4-5-celled; ovules 1 in each cavity. Drupe globose, with 4 or 5 separate 1-seeded nutlets. [Greek, referring to its shining leaves.] A monotypic genus of the arctic zone and high mountain summits.

1. Mairania Alpina (L.) Desv. Alpine Or Black Bearberry

Fig. 3250

Arbutus alpina L. Sp. Pl. 395. 1753.

Mairania alpina Desv. Journ. Bot. (II) 1: 37, 292. 1813. Arctostaphylos alpina Spreng. Syst. 2: 287. 1825. Arctous alpina Niedenzu, Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 11: 141. 1890.

Tufted or depressed-prostrate; branches 2'-5' high, the twigs glabrous or very nearly so. Leaves obovate, crenu-late, conspicuously reticulate-veined, ciliate at least when young, 1/2 - 1' long, 3"-7" wide; flowers few, appearing from scaly buds before or with the leaves; corolla white, ovoid, constricted at the throat; drupe black (or bright red, according to Macoun), juicy, 3"-5" in diameter.

Summits of the higher mountains of New England; Quebec to Newfoundland, Alaska and British Columbia. Also in northern Europe and Asia. Summer.

1 Mairania Alpina L Desv Alpine Or Black Bearberry 1592