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Family Ericaceae, made up mostly of shrubs and small trees, including azaleas, rhododendrons, mountain laurel, blueberries, and the low evergreen shrubs of the genus Erica (seeerica). A large percentage of the family's approximately 128 genera and 4,000 species are cultivated. Members are widely distributed, extending into the subarctic and along mountain chains through the tropics. They are often evergreen species that thrive on open, barren land with usually acid and poorly drained soils. See alsoheather.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on heath family, visit Britannica.com.
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