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Erica carnea
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

alpine heath

E. carnea is a dwarf, spreading, evergreen shrub with tiny, narrow, dark green leaves. One-sided sprays about 8cm long of small, urn-shaped, pink, purple-pink, magenta or white flowers appear in late winter and early spring

Other common names
Mediterranean heath
spring heath
see morewinter heath
herbaceous heath
Synonyms
Erica herbacea
Erica mediterranea L.

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Pink Purple White Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Pink Purple White Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Ericaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Matforming
Genus

Erica can be prostrate or erect, evergreen shrubs with fine, needle-like leaves in whorls, and racemes or panicles of small, bell-shaped or tubular flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
C & S Europe

How to grow

Cultivation

A lime tolerant heather, prefers well-drained, neutral to acid soil in full sun but will tolerate alkaline soils and some shade. See Hardy heathers for further advice

Propagation

Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in mid- or late summer; mound-layer in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Low Maintenance
  • Garden edging
  • Ground cover
  • Banks and slopes
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Pruning group 10 after flowering

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

May be subject to Phytophthora root rot diseases

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