Field and garden studies of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Ericaceae) in North America

TitleField and garden studies of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Ericaceae) in North America
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsRosatti TJames
JournalSystematic Botany

Data from natural populations and from experiments involving cuttings and seedlings in cultivation were used to evaluate putative, pubescence-based subspecies and varieties of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in North America. Field studies indicated that for some of the taxa ecological and related geographic differences exist, although in several instances plants of different identities occurred side by side under seemingly identical conditions. Variation among plants obtained from nature was found to be nearly continuous, however, suggesting that the taxa are not morphologically distinct. Garden studies indicated that environmental, ontogenetic, and genetic factors contribute to the variation. Pubescence assignable to more than one taxon was frequently generated among cuttings or seedlings propagated from a single individual. It is concluded that the taxonomic significance of these variants lies above the level of form but beneath that of ecotype and variety, and retention of formal names for them is not recommended.