White heather, western moss heather, mountain heather
Mountainous regions of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana
Sunny mountain slopes at high elevations
Small and narrow, in 4 overlapping rows along the stem; opposite arrangement
White heather, cassiope mertensiana, produces many small, white, bell-shaped flowers in midsummer, pointing downwards and linked to the tips of leaf stems by a red stalk which splits into five bractlets at the base. Each bloom is less than half an inch long and has five small lobes at the mouth. The stems are mostly hidden by the upwardly-pointing leaves, which grow close together in overlapping rows. The shrub like plant stays close to the ground, and is often found in crevices amongst cliffs and boulders.