Salal Gaultheria shallon, photographed by Mrs W. D. Bransford.

Belongs within: Vaccinioideae.

The Gaultherieae is a clade of plants in the Ericaceae containing the wintergreens (Gaultheria) and related species. The clade as a whole is not strongly supported, but a derived subgroup including Tepuia, Diplycosia, Pernettya and Gaultheria includes many species producing the fragrant compound methyl salicylate (Kron et al. 2002). Oil of wintergreen is used as a flavouring in products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. The type genus, Gaultheria, is characterised by having dehiscent capsular fruit surrounded by a persistent fleshy calyx, and stamens with basally dilated filaments and awned anthers. Members of the genus Pernettya closely resemble Gaultheria except that their fruits are indehiscent berries (Allan 1961).

Characters (from Kron et al. 2002): Shrubs, rarely lianas. Leaves evergreen or deciduous, entire, serrulate, or serrate, non-ericoid, convolute in bud. Leaf epidermal cells not lignified. Indumentum of multicellular, multiseriate glandular and non-glandular hairs. Inflorescence usually axillary, rarely terminal, racemose, paniculate, or fasciculate, occasionally reduced to a solitary flower; bracts present, bracteoles usually paired, variable in position; calyx articulated with pedicel. Flowers usually pentamerous, actinomorphic. Calyx lobes small to enlarged, often fleshy and colourful in fruit, persistent; corolla sympetalous, usually urceolate to tubular, lobes small. Stamens usually ten, filaments more or less straight, unicellular-pubescent, roughened, or smooth, lacking projections, or with four minute to conspicuous awns arising from dorso-apical portion of anther; anthers slightly to definitely roughened, occasionally with tubules, with or without a white deposit of disintegration tissue dorsally, dehiscing by terminal pores. Ovary usually pentalocular, with axile placentation, superior, rarely half inferior; style impressed; stigma more or less truncate. Fruit a loculicidal capsule or indehiscent berry, often associated with fleshy calyx; seeds usually with more or less isodiametric testa cells; embryo with two cotyledons.

    |--Leucothoe KJ02
    |    |--L. davisiae H93
    |    |--L. fontanesiana KJ02
    |    |--L. griffithiana P05
    |    `--L. profensis JD05
    `--+--+--Chamaedaphne calyculata KJ02
       |  `--Eubotrys racemosa KJ02
       `--+--Tepuia KJ02
          |    |--T. cardonae KJ02
          |    `--T. tatei KJ02
          `--+--Diplycosia KJ02
             |    |--D. acuminata KJ02
             |    |--D. kinabaluensis H03
             |    |--D. microsalicifolia H03
             |    `--D. pinifolia H03
             `--+--Pernettya Gaud. 1825 KJ02, A61
                |    |--P. alpina W91
                |    |--P. coriacea MM96
                |    |--P. furens D03
                |    |--P. leucocarpa D03
                |    |--P. macrostigma Colenso 1889 (see below for synonymy) A61
                |    |--P. mucronata CL85
                |    |--P. nana Colenso 1891 [incl. P. tasmanica var. neo-zelandica Kirk 1895] A61
                |    |--P. pentlandii H30
                |    `--P. tasmanica Hooker 1847 A61
                `--Gaultheria Kalm ex Linnaeus 1753 KJ02, A61
                     |--G. antipoda Forster 1786 (see below for synonymy) A61
                     |--G. brevistipes (Wu & Hsu) Fang 1999 (see below for synonymy) P05
                     |--G. cardiosepala KJ02
                     |--G. colensoi Hooker 1854 A61
                     |--G. crassa Allan 1961 (see below for synonymy) A61
                     |--G. depressa Hooker 1847 (see below for synonymy) A61
                     |    |--G. d. var. depressa RL96
                     |    `--G. d. var. novae-zelandiae RL96
                     |--G. divergens Colenso 1889 (n. d.) A61
                     |--G. domingensis J87
                     |--G. eriophylla KJ02
                     |--G. × fagifolia Hooker 1854 [G. antipoda × G. oppositifolia] A61
                     |--G. fragrantissima P05
                     |    |--G. f. var. fragrantissima PS06
                     |    `--G. f. var. obovata Panda & Sanjappa 2006 PS06
                     |--G. hispida KJ02
                     |--G. howellii [=Pernettya howellii] H03
                     |--G. humifusa H93
                     |--G. leucocarpa H03
                     |--G. miqueliana KJ02
                     |--G. mundula H03
                     |--G. notabilis H03
                     |--G. novaguineensis H03
                     |--G. nummularioides H03
                     |--G. oppositifolia Hooker 1854 (see below for synonymy) A61
                     |--G. ovatifolia H93
                     |--G. paniculata Burtt & Hill 1935 A61
                     |--G. pernettyoides H03
                     |--G. procumbens JK80
                     |--G. pullei H03
                     |--G. pyroliifolia PS06
                     |--G. rupestris (Linn. f.) Don 1834 (see below for synonymy) A61
                     |    |--G. r. var. rupestris C06
                     |    `--G. r. var. lanceolata C06
                     |--G. seshagiriana P05
                     |--G. shallon KJ02
                     |--G. subcorymbosa Col. 1890 (see below for synonymy) A61
                     `--G. trichophylla PS06
                          |--G. t. var. trichophylla PS06
                          |--G. t. var. eciliata PS06
                          `--G. t. var. ovata Panda & Sanjappa 2006 PS06

Gaultheria antipoda Forster 1786 [=Brossaea antipoda (Forster) Kuntze 1891; incl. G. epiphyta Colenso 1890, G. antipoda var. erecta Cheeseman 1925, G. fluviatilis Cunn. 1839, G. antipoda var. fluviatilis Hooker 1854] A61

Gaultheria brevistipes (Wu & Hsu) Fang 1999 [=Leucothoe brevistipes Wu & Hsu 1985, L. griffithiana var. sessilifolia Wu & Hsu 1986] P05

Gaultheria crassa Allan 1961 [=G. rupestris var. parvifolia Hooker 1854; incl. G. rupestris var. humilis Simpson 1952] A61

Gaultheria depressa Hooker 1847 [=G. antipoda var. depressa Hooker 1854; incl. G. antipoda var. ciliata Hooker 1853] A61

Gaultheria oppositifolia Hooker 1854 [=Brossaea oppositifolia (Hooker) Kuntze 1891; incl. G. multibracteolata Colenso 1892] A61

Gaultheria rupestris (Linn. f.) Don 1834 [=Andromeda rupestris Linn. f. 1781, Brossaea rupestris (Linn. f.) Kuntze 1891] A61

Gaultheria subcorymbosa Col. 1890 [=G. rupestris var. subcorymbosa (Col.) Burtt & Hill 1935; incl. G. calycina Colenso 1899, G. glandulosa Colenso 1896] A61

Pernettya macrostigma Colenso 1889 [incl. Gaultheria antipoda var. microphylla Hooker 1854, G. depressa var. microphylla (Hooker) Cheesem. 1925, G. perplexa Kirk ex Cheesem. 1906] A61

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[CL85] Cokendolpher, J. C., & D. Lanfranco L. 1985. Opiliones from the Cape Horn Archipelago: New southern records for harvestmen. Journal of Arachnology 13: 311–319.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[H03] Heads, M. 2003. Ericaceae in Malesia: vicariance biogeography, terrane tectonics and ecology. Telopea 10 (1): 311–449.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[H30] Hill, A. W. 1930. Hybridization in the New Zealand flora, with special reference to Gaultheria. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 141: 34–36.

[JK80] John, J., & K.-P. Kolbe. 1980. The systematic position of the “Theales” from the viewpoint of serology. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 8: 241–248.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1–136.

[JD05] Junge, F. W., M. Dolezych, H. Walther, T. Böttger, A. Kühl, L. Kunzmann, P. Morgenstern, T. Steinberg & R. Stange. 2005. Ein Fenster in Landschaft und Vegetation vor 37 Millionen Jahren: Lithologische, sedimentgeochemische und paläobotanische Befunde aus einem Paläoflusssystem des Weißelsterbeckens. Mauritiana 19 (2): 185–273.

[KJ02] Kron, K. A., W. S. Judd, P. F. Stevens, D. M. Crayn, A. A. Anderberg, P. A. Gadek, C. J. Quinn & J. L. Luteyn. 2002. Phylogenetic classification of Ericaceae: molecular and morphological evidence. Botanical Review 68: 335–423.

[MM96] Mound, L. A., & R. Marullo. 1996. The thrips of Central and South America: an introduction (Insecta: Thysanoptera). Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1–487.

[P05] Panda, S. 2005. Gaultheria brevistipes (C.Y. Wu & T.Z. Hsu) R.C. Fang (Ericaceae)—a new record for India from Talle Valley, Arunachal Pradesh. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 47: 177–182.

[PS06] Panda, S., & M. Sanjappa. 2006. Three new taxa of Ericaceae from India. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 48: 157–164.

[RL96] Rogers, G. M. & J. R. Leathwick. 1996. North Island seral tussock grasslands. 3. The influence of heather (Calluna vulgaris) on rates of change from tussock grassland to shrubland. New Zealand Journal of Botany 34: 473–487.

[W91] Williams, P. A. 1991. Subalpine and alpine vegetation of granite ranges in western Nelson, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 29: 317–330.

Last updated: 22 April 2020.

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