Taisha is the author of this entry. She writes:
Today’s photo is of Cassiope mertensiana, or white mountain-heather. This species is featured in Alpine Plants of British Columbia, Alberta, and Northwest North America, authored by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon. Mike Hays is the photographer, sharing his image both in the book and with us on Botany Photo of the Day. Thank you, Mike! For local readers, do note that Andy MacKinnon will be giving a talk next week at the Native Plant Society of BC’s Annual General Meeting on “Life above the Treeline: Plant Adaptations to the Alpine”.
Cassiope mertensiana of the Ericaceae is, of course, an alpine species of western North America. It is found in open forests, meadows, rocky slopes, heathlands and tundra. White mountain-heather is a mat-forming dwarf species with opposite evergreen leaves. The white solitary flowers are bell-shaped and held upon a bending red stalk.
According to Native American Ethnobotany by Daniel E. Moerman, Cassiope mertensiania was used by the Nlaka’pamux (formerly known as the Thompson) as a remedy for tuberculosis where a decoction of the plant was taken over a period of time.