Sp. Pl. 1: 393. 1753.


Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 186. 1754 ,.

Common names: Bog rosemary andromède
Etymology: For Greek mythological daughter of Cepheus and Cassiope, married to Perseus
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 8. Treatment on page 503. Mentioned on page 376, 496, 497, 504, 507.
FNA8 P60 Agarista populifolia.jpegAgarista
Agarista populifolia
Lyonia ferruginea
Andromeda polifolia
Andromeda polifolia var. polifolia
Andromeda polifolia var. latifolia
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Yevonn Wilson-Ramsey
Barbara Alongi
Barbara Alongi
Barbara Alongi
Barbara Alongi

Shrubs. Stems ascending or spreading, (sparingly branched); young twigs glaucous (bud-scales glaucous). Leaves persistent; blade linear to narrowly elliptic or oblong, coriaceous, margins entire, revolute (often completely so), abaxial surface glabrous or densely hairy (hairs fine, erect); venation reticulodromous. Inflorescences terminal, umbelliform corymbs, 2–8-flowered, sometimes flowers solitary, (produced on previous year’s growth); (bracts glaucous). Flowers: sepals 5, connate for ca. 13 their lengths, dentate-triangular; petals 5, connate for nearly their entire lengths, pink, corolla globose-urceolate, lobes much shorter than tube; stamens 10, included; filaments straight, flattened, hairy, without spurs; anthers with 2 awns (awns solid, slender, ascending awns bent at an angle to anthers and curved-ascending), dehiscent by apical pores; pistil 5-carpellate; ovary 5-locular; stigma subcapitate. Fruits capsular, 5-valved, (with unthickened sutures), obovoid to subglobose, dry. Seeds 25–35, ovoid or ellipsoid; testa multilayered. x = 12.


n North America, Europe, Asia


Species 1 or 2 (1 in the flora).

Linnaeus wrote that Andromeda “is always fixed on some 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 the plant.”

A study of leaf anatomy by K. Lems (1964) showed that Andromeda differs from other members of tribe Andromedeae in many of the 26 characters studied; notably, the petiolar bundle sheaths are typically cresent-shaped and lateral veins arise from the horns of the crescent, phloem occurs only abaxial to the xylem, leaves have pleuroplastic venation with sparse reticulation, and vein endings are very thin with conspicuously large bundle sheath cells. Based on autapomorphies, including the lack of calyx and corolla stomata and strongly multilayered testa, P. F. Stevens et al. (2004) considered Andromeda to be closely related to Zenobia.

The leaves and twigs are used in some parts of Russia for tanning leather. The poison andromedotoxin (also called acetylandromedol or grayanotoxin) was first isolated from Andromeda polifolia and later found to be common in other genera of Ericaceae; it causes low blood pressure, breathing difficulty, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and, potentially, death. A single ingestion of “mad honey” causes poisonings in Europe and Turkey each year (H. Özhan et al. 2004).

Selected References


"entire" is not a number.

... more about "Andromeda"
hairy +  and glabrous +
epigynous +  and hypogynous +
Dorothy M. Fabijan +
Linnaeus +
furrowed +  and smooth +
not flaky +
coriaceous +
Bog rosemary +  and andromède +
rotate to crateriform campanulate cylindric globose or urceolate +
globose-urceolate +
2-8-flowered +  and umbelliform +
n North America +, Europe +  and Asia +
undifferentiated +
fusiform +
For Greek mythological daughter of Cepheus and Cassiope, married to Perseus +
flattened +
unisexual +  and bisexual +
5-valved +  and capsular +
indehiscent +  and loculicidal +
obovoid;subglobose +
pseudoverticillate +  and alternate +
persistent +
oblong;elliptic +
coriaceous +
parietal +, axile +  and placentation +
tenuinucellate +  and unitegmic +
epigynous +  and hypogynous +
reduced +
not sticky +
Sp. Pl. +  and Gen. Pl. ed. +
tan;yellowish-brown or brown +
distinct +
ellipsoid +  and ovoid +
dentate-triangular +
procumbent +  and creeping +
spreading +  and ascending +
hairy +  and glabrous +
peltate +  and capitate +
straight +
Andromeda +
Ericaceae subfam. Vaccinioideae +
multilayered +
achlorophyllous +  and chlorophyllous +
evergreen +, deciduous +  and perennial +
heterotrophic +, autotrophic +  and mycotrophic +
multicellular-hairy +