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Products > Erica verticillata
 
Erica verticillata

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Erica verticillata
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Ericaceae (Heaths, Heathers)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Erica verticillata - A very attractive strong growing shrub with upright growth to 4 to 5 feet tall or more with soft dark green foliage. In flushes from spring to fall appear the deep rose-pink tubular flowers that are arranged in many rows of whorls near the tips of the stiffly upright branches. Best if planted in an open sunny location with well-drained slightly acidic soil. Since acidic soil is rare in much of California the addition of organic amendments and iron sulfate can benefit plants or plants can be grown in containers if careful watering practices are maintained to assure that the soil media does not dry out. In the ground plants thrive with winter moisture and can become established but until such time need to be deeply well watered. Prune when young after flowering to increase bushiness and to increase the number of flower-bearing stems. Hardy to the low 20s F but severely damaged if temperatures dip to 20 F. At one time this beautiful heather was thought to be extinct but early cultivation saved it from this fate. It occurred naturally on damp sandy soils in the Cape flats of the Cape Peninsula where by the late 1800s agriculture and urban sprawl wiped out its habit. For nearly a century it was only known from herbarium specimens but in the 1980s horticulturists at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden of South Africa located plants of this species growing in at Protea Park in Pretoria and also a the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew in England. Several years later a mature plant was also found at Kirstenbosch and these 3 clones have now been successfully propagated and distributed. Plants in California were brought in through Nurseryman's Exchange as a floral potted plant. Kirstenbosch originally noted that this plant would grow only to 1.5 meters tall but it has exceeded this height at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, where it now has grown to 6 feet tall.  This information is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of it in our nursery of crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we have visited. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Erica verticillata.