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Erica erigena
Western shore of Lough Carrowmore, County Mayo - geograph.org.uk - 66091.jpg
E. erigena in flower with gorse (Ulex), Lough Carrowmore, western Ireland
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Erica
Species: E. erigena

Erica erigena (Irish heath) is a species of flowering plant in the family Ericaceae, native to cliffs and heathland in Ireland, southwestern France, Spain, Portugal and Tangier. It is a compact evergreen shrub growing to 75 cm (30 in), with somewhat brittle foliage and deep pink honey-scented flowers in winter and spring.[1][2] Its appearance in the far west of Ireland, separated from the main Mediterranean populations, suggests a garden escape.[3]

In cultivation, it is often seen as groundcover amongst dwarf conifers. Like others of its kind, it is a calcifuge, preferring an open sunny site with well-drained acid soil. Numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, of which the following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:

  • E. erigena 'Irish Dusk'[4]
  • E. erigena f. alba 'W.T. Rackliff'[5] (white-flowered)


  1. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ "Great plant picks - Erica erigena". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Doyle, Gerard J. "The history of Erica erigena R. Ross, an Irish plant with a disjunct European distribution". Journal of Quaternary Science. Wiley online library. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Erica erigena 'Irish Dusk'". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Erica erigena f. alba 'W.T. Rackliff'". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica_erigena — Please support Wikipedia.
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4 news items

Maple Ridge News
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 01:03:45 -0700

The winter-flowering heathers come in the generally lower growing Erica carnea or the hybrid group Erica x darleyensis, which is a cross of E. carnea and Erica erigena. The best of the former species includes 'Springwood White' and 'Pink', 'Tanja ...

Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz

Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:48:36 -0700

Englische Heide (Erica x darleyensis) ist eine Kreuzung aus der lange blühenden Schneeheide (Erica carnea) und der reich blühenden Purpurheide (Erica erigena) - und sie hat beide Eigenschaften. Sie mag sonnige bis halbschattige Standorte, der Boden ...
Fri, 09 Apr 2010 00:00:00 -0700

The taller and less hardy Erica erigena (the Irish heath) is also lime-tolerant and 'Golden Lady' has golden foliage topped by some white flowers. All forms need excellent drainage and light, sandy soil. Golden conifers also mix well with miniature ...
Kölnische Rundschau
Sun, 23 Nov 2008 09:58:25 -0800

Grund: In der Nähe stand eine Erica erigena, die wild nur in Nordspanien, Südwestfrankreich und Nordwestirland vorkommt. Bienen hatten ihre Pollen auf die Narben der Winterheide getragen. Die Neuentdeckung war also eine Kreuzung, die man ...

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