Daboecia //, St. Dabeoc's heath, is a small genus of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae, containing two evergreen shrubs, closely related to the genus Erica. They are native to cliffs and heathland in western Ireland, western France, northwestern Spain, Portugal and the Azores.
They produce urn-shaped flowers in shades of white, pink and red. Daboecia differ from European Erica species in having a substantially larger corolla. The leaves are always alternate in Daboecia, never whorled. The generic name comes from the Irish Saint Dabheog. Like Erica, Daboecia are calcifuges (ericaceous), but will tolerate neutral soils.
Some botanists regard D. azorica as a subspecies of D. cantabrica, thus making the genus monospecific.
The two species have been extensively cultivated and hybridised to produce a number of popular garden plants. Cultivars include selections from the hybrid between the two species, which is named Daboecia × scotica.
- Oliver, E. G. H. (2000). Systematics of Ericeae. Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium 19.
- Nelson, E. C. (1984). Dabeoc – a saint and his heather. Yearbook of the Heather Society 1984: 41–46.
- Nelson, E. C. (2000). A history, mainly nomenclatural, of St Dabeoc's heath. Watsonia 23: 47–58.
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