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There are eight families and 4,500 species in this order. Most are shrubs and small trees, although the order also has some species that are epiphytes or plants that grow on other plants. There are also mycotrophic herbs in this order. They are plants that are nonphotosynthetic. Instead of getting their energy from the sun, they get their nutrients from fungi!

   Ericaceae - Heath Family
mountain laurelThis is the largest family in the order with about 4,000 species. Most plants in this group grow best in moist, acidic soil. Plants in this family include heather, blueberries, cranberries, mountain laurel, mayflower, azaleas, St. John's wort and rhododendrons.  Many plants in this family depend on fungi to get the nutrients they need.
   Epacridaceae - Epacris Family
There are 400 species in this family. Most species are found in Australia and New Zealand.
   Pyrolaceae - Shinleaf Family
mountain laurelThere are 45 species of plants in this family. They are found in temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Plants include sidebells wintergreen, pipsissewa and white-veined wintergreen.
   Grubbiaceae - Grubbia Family
This family has only three species. They are all found in South Africa.   
   Clethraceae - Clethra Family

mountain laurelThere are about 65 species of clethra found from the southeastern United States to South America. Clethra is also found in southeastern Asia and the East Indies. Species in this family include the white alder and the sweet pepperbush.

   Cyrillaceae - Cyrilla Family

Buck-wheat TreeThere are two species of plants in this family. They are found on the coastal plains of the southeastern United States. TheĀ swamp titi (Cyrilla racemiflora)is found in coastal areas of the southeastern US from Virgina through the Gulf Coast to Texas. The buck-wheat tree (Cliftonia monophylla) is found in the southeastern US from South Carolina to Louisiana.

  Monotropaceae - Indian Pipe Family

Indian PipePlants in this family don't have chlorophyll. There are arounf 12 species and most are found in temperate and boreal regions in the Northern Hemisphere.

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