Heath family (Ericaceae)
Evergreen shrub growing to heights of 0.6-1.5 m. Young stems with reddish hairs. Leaves leathery, narrow and non-tapering or elliptical, of size 2-5 x 0.5 cm, with downcurved margins. Shiny and dark-green above, hairy beneath. Flowers white, five-petalled, of diameter 1-1.5 cm and forming umbels. Fruit a many-seeded capsule. Flowers Apr.-Jul.
Grows in semi-shade, on deep, nutrient-poor soils. Present in marshy coniferous and bog spruce forest, as well as on raised bogs and transitional peatlands. A POISONOUS plant, though used in folk medicine. In decline, as habitats dry out, and subject to Partial Protection.
Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski