Erica erigena


Erica erigena
Erica erigena 2c.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Erica
E. erigena
Binomial name
Erica erigena

Erica erigena, the Irish heath,[1] 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.[2][3] Its appearance in the far west of Ireland, separated from the main Mediterranean populations, suggests a garden escape.[4]

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:[5]

  • Erica erigena 'Irish Dusk'[6]
  • Erica erigena f. alba 'W.T. Rackliff'[7] (white-flowered)


  1. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  3. ^ "Great plant picks - Erica erigena". Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  4. ^ Foss, Peter J.; Doyle, Gerard J. (1990). "The history of Erica erigena R. Ross, an Irish plant with a disjunct European distribution". Journal of Quaternary Science. 5: 1–16. doi:10.1002/jqs.3390050102.
  5. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 33. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Erica erigena 'Irish Dusk'". Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Erica erigena f. alba 'W.T. Rackliff'". Retrieved 7 June 2020.