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Erica × darleyensis Bean

Modern name

Erica × darleyensis Bean


E. mediterranea hybrida Hort.; E. hybrida Hort.

This heath appeared about 1890 in the heath nursery of Messrs James Smith & Son, at Darley Dale, in Derbyshire, and showed characters intermediate between those of E. herbacea and E. erigena. They named it “E. mediterranea hybrida”, but as it shows as much, or more, affinity with E. carnea, I have adopted another name for it. The name “hybrida” has been given to it, but that is already in use for a S. African heath. In the characters of its leaves, young wood, and flowers it is identical with those two species, which themselves scarcely differ; but planted in groups it eventually forms dense masses 2 ft high – at least twice as high as herbacea, yet never showing any disposition to grow erect and form a single stem like erigena. Quite young plants are scarcely distinguishable from E. herbacea, but soon show they are not the same by their stronger growth. A valuable character of E. × darleyensis is its habit of commencing to flower as early as November and continuing until May. It ought to be in every garden.

The heath described above is the type (‘

cv. ‘Arthur Johnson’. – A spontaneous hybrid between, it is thought, E. erigena “var. hibernica” and E. herbacea ‘Ruby Glow’, raised by the late A. T. Johnson and given an Award of Merit in 1952. Flowers rose, foliage light green. A compact bush to about 2 ft high and 3 ft or more across.

cv. ‘GeorgeRendall’. – flowers of a deeper hue than in ‘darley dale’ and habit more compact.

cv. ‘Silberschmelze’. – A white-flowered sport of ‘Darley Dale’ raised in Germany.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

The clones mentioned are still perhaps the best. There is also ‘Furzey’ with deep rosy pink flowers borne over a long period from December onwards; and ‘Jack H. Brummage’, of dense habit, its foliage pale yellow in summer, deepening in winter.



Other species in the genus