Red Heath

Red Heath

Erica abietina

Scientific name

This heath shrub species has a variety of flower colours and subspecies that are unique to particular locations across the region, predominantly in Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos. Some are well protected and therefore classified as Least Concern, while others are not well protected and very localised and classified as critically endangered. It grows well in garden settings. It attracts sunbirds and the butterfly Aeropetes tulbaghia.

It prefers rockeries and slanting ground in full sun with other Fynbos such as ericas, buchus, brunias, and restios.

Propagation instructions

By seed

This species grows easily from seed sown in well-drained, acidic, sandy soil and subjected to smoke treatment. Seed is normally sown from late summer into autumn, i.e. March to May.

By cutting

It is propagated vegetatively by rooting fresh semi-hardwood tip or heel cuttings. Cuttings are rooted in multi-trays on heated benches under mist spray. Cuttings are rooted in autumn or spring in a rooting medium of equal parts bark and polystyrene chips. A semi-hardwood rooting hormone is used to aid the rooting process.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Can you help grow this species?

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Sensitive roots

Good potplant

Easy to grow

Attracts butterflies

It provides food for:

Southern double-collared sunbird

Erica abietina is indigenous to: Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos

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