18. Arctostaphylos Adanson, Fam. Pl. 2: 165. 1763.

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Arctostaphylos is richly diverse and taxonomically challenging. Unequivocal fossils appear as far back as the middle Miocene. Many pulses of diversification and decimation may have taken place in the genus since then; evidence suggests that there has been a rapid radiation in the last 1.5 million years. Some morphological features are not clearly differentiated among taxa and appear to be mosaically distributed.

Multiple lines of evidence suggest that Arctostaphylos is a terminal branch within Arbutoideae. Arctous is treated here as a separate genus, as it is likely sister to Arctostaphylos. Only one species of Arctostaphylos, A. uva-ursi, is found outside of western North America, Mexico, and Guatemala. Taxa are concentrated within the California Floristic Province (southern Oregon to northern Baja California, Mexico) with the greatest diversity along the central California coast, where over half of the taxa are found. Along the immediate California coastline, most Arctostaphylos species are found within vegetation strongly influenced by summer fog, either within maritime chaparral, as a forest-edge species, or as part of a closed-cone conifer woodland and forest. Away from the coast, Arctostaphylos species are distributed to the desert edge in chaparral woodlands and forests.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title 18. Arctostaphylos Adanson, Fam. Pl. 2: 165. 1763.
Volume 8
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher eFloras
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 1 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Title Flora of North America
First page 406
Last page 406
Public Comments This publication is a section (taxon ID 102495) of Volume 8: Magnoliophyta: Paeoniaceae to Ericaceae, of the Flora of North America reference series.
Other Geospatial North America
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