Green Heath


Green Heath

Erica sessiliflora

Scientific name

This pale-yellow to greenish tubular flowered heath is pollinated by sunbirds. It is a unique erica in that it is serotinous, meaning it keeps its seeds for years until a fire brings the best conditions for seed germination.

Propagation instructions

By seed

Sow seed in autumn (April-May) in 100 mm deep seed trays. Erica sessiliflora seeds take longer to mature than in most other species, and should be harvested from the fruiting heads that are one or two years old. A higher percentage germination is achieved if the seeds are first treated with Instant Smoke Plus Seed Primer or a similar smoke treatment. The soil medium used should be acidic and well drained (e.g. equal parts of river sand and sifted bark mixed together). Sow seeds thinly and evenly to prevent damping off. This can be done by mixing seed with fine, dry sand before sowing and spreading the sand and seed evenly over the seed tray. Cover with a thin layer of sand after sowing. Water gently and keep the tray moist but not wet and out of direct sunlight and rain. Germination occurs within 1-2 months. When the seedlings are about 10 mm tall, move the tray to a lightly shaded position. Pot up when they are 15-20 mm tall and keep lightly shaded and well watered until hardened off (1-3 months). The young, established plants are then moved into direct sunlight and grown on until large enough to be planted into the garden.

By cutting

Take cuttings in autumn or spring. Semi-hard wood or heel cuttings are best. A higher percentage of rooting is achieved if a rooting hormone is applied. The recommended medium is equal parts of sifted bark and polystyrene for good aeration. Place the cuttings in a mist unit with bottom heat.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Sensitive roots

Good potplant

Suitable for wet sites

It provides food for:

Honeybees/flies

Southern double-collared sunbird

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