Erica lusitanica

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"Spanish Heath" redirects here. For the butterfly, see Coenonympha.
Erica lusitanica
Ericalusitanica.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Erica
Species: E. lusitanica
Binomial name
Erica lusitanica
Rudolphi

Erica lusitanica is a species of flowering plant in the family Ericaceae, known by the common names Spanish and Portuguese heath. It is named for Lusitania, a historical region of western Europe, now southwestern France, Spain and Portugal, which provides its native habitat.

Description[edit]

Erica lusitanica is a hairy, woody shrub just under 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) in maximum height. It is densely covered in plumes of green, leathery, needle-like evergreen leaves each less than a centimeter long. Flowers appear between the leaves, singly or in small clusters, in winter and spring. Each is a hanging rounded tubular bell of fused light pink to white petals. The fruit is a capsule a few millimeters long filled with minuscule seeds small enough to disperse on the wind. A single plant can produce millions of seeds per year.

Cultivation[edit]

E. lusitanica is cultivated as an ornamental plant for gardens. Like others of its kind it is a calcifuge and prefers an open, sunny site in acid soil. It is typically seen in the company of other heathers and mixed conifers. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[1]

Naturalisation[edit]

Garden escapes easily become introduced species and sometimes invasive speciesnoxious weeds in certain climates. It has naturalised in the British Isles, California, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Erica lusitanica". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Erica lusitanica at Wikimedia Commons