Erica ventricosa

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Wax heath
Erica ventricosa 0.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Erica
Species: E. ventricosa
Binomial name
Erica ventricosa
  • Erica densa Andrews
  • Erica dentata J.C.Wendl.
  • Erica excelsa Tausch
  • Erica glabra Link
  • Erica praegnans Andrews
  • Erica venusta Salisb.[1]

Erica ventricosa is a species of plant in the Ericaceae family native to the Afrotropics.


The scientific name of this species is derived from the Latin word ventricosus, which means swollen or inflated. Its common names are Franschhoek heath, Porcelain heath, Italian heather, Giant heather and Wax heath.


It naturally occurs on mountain slopes in the Paarl and Stellenbosch area of the Hottentots-Holland range, when the elevation is higher than 300 m above sea level.


Population groups of these plants are normally found in well-drained acid soils with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.[2]


The corolla in Erica ventricosa has an ovoid-urceolate form and is 12 mm to 16 mm in length, with a constriction at the throat.[3] This form is no accident, as there are specialist flies with a long proboscis that are adapted to pollinate it.


  1. ^ "Erica ventricosa Thunb". The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  2. ^ Anthony Hitchcock (December 2001). "Erica ventricosa". Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2011-03-12.
  3. ^ Baker, Hugh Arthur and Oliver, E. G. H. Ericas in Southern Africa. Purnell & Sons, Cape Town, 1967, p. 55.