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Erica vagans - L.

Common Name Cornish Heath, Cornish heath
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Heaths in S. Cornwall, rare in Britain but locally common and abundant in Cornwall[17].
Range Western Europe in Britain, France and N. Spain.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Erica vagans Cornish Heath, Cornish heath


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Aka
Erica vagans Cornish Heath, Cornish heath
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Aka

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Erica vagans is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to November. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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 dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Ground Cover;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

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None known

Other Uses

Brush;  Dye;  Fuel;  Thatching.

A dye is obtained from the flowers. No further details. The twigs are used for making brushes, thatching, bedding etc and also as a fuel. A good ground cover plant, though it might need weeding for the first year[197]. It can be clipped in spring to give denser growth[197, 208]. Space the plants about 60cm apart each way[208].

Cultivation details

A calcifuge plant, it requires a light lime-free loam[11]. Grows well on sunny slopes, thriving in any soil that is not heavy or alkaline[11]. Plants can succeed in a slightly alkaline soil if it is rich in humus according to some reports[182, 188]. Grows best in a poor soil[11]. Resents dry soils. Prefers an open situation. A very ornamental plant[1], there are many named varieties[182]. A food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies and moths as well as providing a food source for the moths and butterflies[30]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow in an acid 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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Author

L.

Botanical References

1117200

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