Although the Gaultherieae clade is present in all of the equally parsimonious trees discovered in the combined analysis (Fig. 7), its monophyly is not (as yet) well supported. It is probably most closely related to the Andromedeae, and it is likely significant that 4-appendaged anthers (char. #61; Fig. 31) and a base chromosome number of eleven (char. #89) characterize Gaultherieae and also occur in Zenobia. A strongly supported subclade (comprising Diplycosia, Tepuia, Gaultheria, and Pernettya) is diagnosed by the presence of methyl salicylate (char. #88). This fragrant compound, which gives the plants a distinct wintergreen odor, has been lost in several species, especially within Gaultheria. Generic relationships are problematic within this subclade, and phylogenetic relationships within this group are currently being investigated (Powell & Kron, 2001).

Gaultherieae Nied., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 11: 145. 1889. - Type genus: Gaultheria L.

Shrubs, rarely lianas, evergreen or deciduous, with entire , serrulate, or serrate, non-ericoid leaves, convolute in bud. Leaf epidermal cells not lignified. Indumentum of multicellular, multiseriate glandular and non-glandular hairs. Inflorescence usually axillary,rarely terminal, racemose, paniculate, or fasciculate, occasionally reduced to a solitary flower; bracts present, bracteoles usually paired, variable in position; calyx articulated with pedicel. Flowers usually 5-merous, actinomorphic. Calyx lobes small to enlarged, often fleshy and colorful in fruit, persistent; corolla sympetalous, usually urceolate to tubular, the lobes small; stamens usually 10, the filaments ± straight, unicellular-pubescent, roughened, or smooth, lacking projections, or with 4 minute to conspicuous awns arising from the dorso-apical portion of the anther; anthers slightly to definitely roughened, occasionally with tubules, with or without a white deposit of disintegration tissue dorsally, dehiscing by terminal pores. Ovary usually 5-locular, with axile placentation, superior, rarely half-inferior; style impressed; stigma ± truncate. Fruit a loculicidal capsule or indehiscent berry, often associated with fleshy calyx; seeds usually with ± isodiametric testa cells; embryo with 2 cotyledons.
Full Detailed Description of Vaccinioideae
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