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Genus Erica flowering Plants Family Ericaceae

Erica Tetralix — Cross-leaved Heath. A native species of low, and bushy growth, with close umbels or terminal clusters of pretty pinky flowers. The varieties of this most worthy of notice are Erica Tetralix alba, white flowered; Erica Tetralix Mackiana, crimson flowered; Erica Tetralix rubra, deep red flowers; and Erica Tetralixbicolor, with parti-coloured flowers.

Erica Cinerea — Gray-leaved Heath. In this species, also a native of Britain, the flowers are of a reddish-purple colour, and borne in dense terminal racemes. There are numerous varieties, including a white-flowered Erica cinerea alba; Erica cinerea atro-purpurea, bearing dark purple flowers; Erica cinerea atro-sanguinea, dark red flowers; Erica cinerea coccinea, scarlet; Erica cinerea purpurea, purple flowers; and Erica cinerea rosea, with deep rose-coloured flowers.

Erica Carnea — This is one of the most beautiful and desirable of hardy Heaths, on account of the richly-coloured flowers and early season at which they are produced. In the typical species the flowers are pink or flesh-coloured, and produced in January and February. It is a dwarf, compact growing species, with bright green foliage. There is a form with pure white flowers, named Erica carnea alba, or Erica herbacea, but although distinct and beautiful, it is not of so robust growth as the parent.

Erica Ciliaris — A pretty native species, with ciliate glandular leaves, and racemes of highly-coloured, rosy flowers. Found in Dorsetshire and Cornwall.

Erica Scoparia and Erica Erecta are desirable species, the former bearing greenish flowers, and the latter of decidedly upright growth.

Erica Mediterranea — Mediterranean Heath. This is a robust-growing species, of rather erect habit, and often attaining to fully a yard in height. Flowers abundantly produced, and of a pretty pinky hue. Of this there are several varieties, the following being best known: Erica mediterranea hibernica, found in Ireland; Erica mediterranea alba, with white flowers; Erica mediterranea nana, of very dwarf growth; and Erica mediterranea rubra, with showy, deep red flowers.

Erica Vagans — Cornish Heath. A native species, bearing pinky-white flowers, but there are forms with white and red flowers, named Erica vagans alba and Erica vagans rubra.

The various kinds of Heath succeed best either in peaty soil, or that composed for the greater part of light, sandy loam, but many will grow and flower freely if planted in rich yellow loam. They are very desirable plants, either for bed formation, for rockwork ornamentation, or for planting around the shrubbery margins. Propagation is effected either by cuttings or sub-divisions, but seedlings of several species spring up freely under favourable conditions.