Erica

Linnaeus

Sp. Pl. 1: 352. 1753.

,

Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 167. 1754 ,.

Common names: Heath
Etymology: Greek ereiko, to break, alluding to brittle stems
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 8. Treatment on page 492. Mentioned on page 371, 372, 375.

Subshrubs or shrubs [trees]. Stems erect, spreading, or creeping, (much-branched); twigs glabrous or hairy. Leaves persistent, whorled; petiole present; blade coriaceous, margins ciliate, prickled, or glabrous. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, umbels, racemes, or panicles, 10–30-flowered; perulae absent; (bracteoles 2–3). Flowers bisexual, radially symmetric; sepals 4–5, distinct, (shorter than petals); petals 4–5, connate nearly their entire lengths [connate ca. 1/2 their lengths], corolla persistent, campanulate; stamens 10, included or exserted; (filaments glabrous); anthers with or without awns, dehiscent through narrowly oblong, subterminal pores; ovary pseudo-10-locular; style (slender, straight), included or exserted, (glabrous); stigma filiform, obconic, or capitate. Fruits capsular [drupaceous], ellipsoid, dehiscence loculicidal [indehiscent]. Seeds ca. 10, ellipsoid to obovoid, not winged, not tailed; testa reticulate or foveolate. x = 12.

Distribution

Introduced; Europe, Asia, Africa

Discussion

Species ca. 860 (4 in the flora).

All of the naturalized species of Erica, as well as some others and hybrids, are cultivated, especially in the northeastern and northwestern coastal areas (D. Metheny 1991). Most require acid soils, although E. carnea, E. vagans, and E. ×darleyensis (E. carnea × E. erigena) will accept neutral soils (A. Mikolajski 1997). Over 700 species are endemic to the Cape region of southern Africa; recent molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that the genus originated in Europe, and that the southern African species represent radiation from an ancestor of E. arborea (A. F. McGuire and K. A. Kron 2005).

Selected References

None.

Key

1 Pedicels 5-8 mm; corollas 2.5-3.5 mm; anthers without awns; petioles 0.5-1 mm. Erica vagans
1 Pedicels 1-3 mm; corollas 4-6 mm; anthers with awns; petioles 0.1-0.3 mm > 2
2 Stigmas obconic, exserted; calyx lobes ovate Erica lusitanica
2 Stigmas capitate, not (or slightly) exserted; calyx lobes deltate > 3
3 Leaves in whorls of 3, surfaces glabrous, but with marginal prickles; ovaries glabrous; corolla lobes rounded apically. Erica cinerea
3 Leaves in whorls of 4, surfaces with scattered hairs and glands; ovaries hairy; corolla lobes acute apically. Erica tetralix

"entire" is not a number.

... more about "Erica"
Gordon C. Tucker +
Linnaeus +
dehiscent +
subterminal +
oblong +
furrowed +  and smooth +
not flaky +
acicular;plane +
coriaceous +
rotate to crateriform campanulate cylindric globose or urceolate +
Europe +, Asia +  and Africa +
undifferentiated +
fusiform +
Greek ereiko, to break, alluding to brittle stems +
pendulous +  and erect +
loculicidal +
ellipsoid +
multicellular +
axillary +  and terminal +
persistent +
revolute;plane;toothed;entire;revolute;plane;toothed;entire +
parietal +, axile +  and placentation +
tenuinucellate +  and unitegmic +
10-30-flowered +
4 +  and 5 +
reduced +
not sticky +
4-5-carpellate +
subterminal +
Sp. Pl. +  and Gen. Pl. ed. +
10-30-flowered +
distinct +
not tailed +, ellipsoid +  and obovoid +
distinct +
4 +  and 5 +
exserted +  and included +
procumbent +  and prostrate +
creeping +  and sprawling +
creeping +, spreading +  and erect +
peltate +  and capitate +
capitate +, obconic +  and filiform +
straight +
exserted +  and included +
Undefined tribe Empetraceae +
Ericaceae subfam. Ericoideae +
foveolate +  and reticulate +
hairy +  and glabrous +
10-30-flowered +
achlorophyllous +  and chlorophyllous +
evergreen +, deciduous +  and perennial +
shrub +  and subshrub +
heterotrophic +, autotrophic +  and mycotrophic +