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Erica umbellata L.

Modern name

Erica umbellata L.

An evergreen shrub to about 2 ft high of erect or semi-prostrate habit; young shoots downy. Leaves linear, about 16 in. long, of a soft greyish green. Inflorescence an umbel of two to eight flowers; corollas egg-shaped to globose, sharply contracted at the mouth, about 16 in. long and clear rosy pink in colour, with dark, exserted anthers; calyx-lobes linear-oblong. Main flowering time May-June.

Native of Spain, Portugal and Morocco; probably first introduced late in the eighteenth century but little known in gardens until W. E. Th. Ingwersen introduced it from the Sierra de Estrella, Portugal, in the early twenties. Another form was introduced by Dr Giuseppi at about the same time. Although not completely hardy, it is certainly not so tender as was once supposed and should come through most winters unharmed in southern and western gardens. It is said to be tolerant of lime in the soil. It is one of the prettiest of the European heaths and valuable for having its main season of blossom when few other heaths are in flower.



Other species in the genus