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Erica cerinthoides - L.

Common Name Fire Heath
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry flats and in the mountains[260].
Range S. Africa from the Cape to northern Transvaal and Swaziland.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Erica cerinthoides Fire Heath


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Erica cerinthoides Fire Heath
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Erica cerinthoides is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; East Wall. By. South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Nectar
Edible Uses:

The flowers are sucked for their abundant sweet nectar[177, 183].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

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Other Uses

Fire retardant

The plant is fire-resistant.

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a light lime-free loam[1]. A calcifuge plant, requiring a pH below 6[186]. Grows best in a poor soil[11]. Prefers an open situation[1]. This species is unlikely to be hardy in Britain. One report suggests that it can be grown in the milder areas[1], but another says that it is not frost-tolerant[200]. In the wild the plant is often burnt down in fires, resprouting from the base[260]. Indeed, this regular burning keeps the plant healthy and, in cultivation, it is advisable to prune the plant back hard each year and to dress it with a light dressing of bonfire soil[260]. A good bee plant[108]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a sandy compost in a cold frame in spring. Keep moist. Prick out the plants as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them in their permanent positions when they are 5 - 8cm tall[11]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 3cm long taken from twiggy lateral growths near the base of the plant, July/August in a frame. Remove the leaves from the bottom part of the stem without causing any damage to the bark. The cuttings root in a few weeks if they are given some bottom heat. Plant out in spring[11]. Layering in spring or autumn. Plants can be 'dropped' and then dug up and divided about 6 - 12 months later. Dropping involves digging up the plant and then replanting it about 15 - 20cm deeper in the soil to encourage roots to form along the stems[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Readers comment

Helen Wilson   Mon Aug 24 2009

Am looking for Erica "Colouras" or "Coloras"

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Subject : Erica cerinthoides  
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