Erica arborea var. alpina

8 Jan

Erica arborea var. alpina (30/12/14, Kew Gardens, London)

Erica arborea var. alpina (30/12/14, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Ericaceae

Erica arborea var. alpina is an evergreen shrub with a bushy, erect habit. Its bright green leaves are needle like and up to 1cm long. Its fragrant white flowers are bell shaped, small and appear in long panicles.

Erica arborea var. alpina, commonly known as Alpine Tree Heather, is native to south west Europe and parts of north Africa. In its native habitat it grows as a component of forests, woodland or scrub.

The etymological root of the binomial name Erica is derived from the Latin name for Heather. Arborea is from the Latin meaning ‘tree’. Alpina is from the Latin meaning ‘of the Alps’ or ‘Alpine’.

The landscape architect may find Erica arborea var. alpina useful as an attractive spring flowering shrub suitable for acid soils. Once established this shrub is relatively drought tolerant.

Ecologically, Erica arborea var. alpina flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Erica arborea var. alpina Leaf (30/12/14, Kew Gardens, London)

Erica arborea var. alpina Leaf (30/12/14, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Erica arborea var. alpina their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Erica arborea var. alpina prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil although it prefers an acid soil.

Erica arborea var. alpina requires little maintenance. Necessary pruning should be carried out after flowering in spring.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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