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Epacris longiflora 04.jpg
Epacris longiflora
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Epacris

See text.

Epacris is a genus of about 35–40 species of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae. It was formerly treated in a closely related but separate family Epacridaceae, but the various genera within Epacridaceae including Epacris have been revised in their relationships to each other and brought under the common umbrella of the Ericaceae. The genus Epacris is native to eastern and southeastern Australia (southeast Queensland south to Tasmania and west to southeast South Australia), New Caledonia and New Zealand. The species are known as heaths or Australian heaths.

Epacris impressa ranges from 1 to 3 m in height. Impressa refers to the five distinct indentations at the base of each petal of the floral tube. The common name is the pink heath or common heath, although any one patch of heathland or bushland may contain all three main distinct colour forms, red, pink and white in proximity, with minimal grading. The common heath is brightly coloured species which attracts both birds and insects for pollination. The common heath was collected from Tasmania in 1793 by the French botanist Jacques-Julien Houton de Labillardiere during his voyage with Bruny D'Entrecasteaux on the unsuccessful search for the missing explorer La Perouse. E. impressa is the state flower of Victoria, the first Australian state to give such official recognition to a flower.

Selected species[edit]