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Cassiope tetragona - (L.)D.Don.

Common Name White Arctic Mountain Heather
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dryish stony or sandy heaths or tundra, usually in mountainous areas[50].
Range N. Europe, Northern N. America, N. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade
Cassiope tetragona White Arctic Mountain Heather
Cassiope tetragona White Arctic Mountain Heather

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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Cassiope tetragona is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to May. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers dry or moist soil.


Andromeda tetragona.


 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

Other Uses

Fuel;  Insulation;  Tinder.

The plant, combined with mosses and lichens, has been used as an insulation material in houses[257] The plant makes a good tinder[257]. Used for fuel[61, 257]. Considering the size of the plant (up to 30cm), this use must be born out of desperation in areas with very few woody plants[K].

Cultivation details

Requires a lime-free well-drained but moistish soil and protection from bright sunlight[1, 11, 188]. Another report says that the plant tolerates some lime[200] whilst yet another report says that it is calcicole (requires a lime-rich soil)[50]. Plants seldom live long in the drier and warmer areas of the country, growing better in the west and north[182]. They prefer a colder winter than is normally experienced in S, Britain, with a covering of snow for protection and are hardy to at least -15°c[11, 200].


Seed - we have no details for this species but we would suggest surface-sowing sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe or in late winter in a well-drained ericaceous compost in a cold frame. Do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Layering in August[78]. Alternatively, dig up the plant in early spring and replant it 10 - 20cm deeper in the soil. The buried branches will form roots and these can be divided and replanted in the autumn of the following year[200]. Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, 2 -3cm with a heel, in a shady frame in August. Do not remove the leaves or allow the cuttings to dry out. Fair percentage[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Subject : Cassiope tetragona  
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