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Erica gracilis


Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Dutch:

Slanke Heide

Common Names in English:

Erica, Heath


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Family Ericaceae

Plants usually woody, or herbs, sometimes lacking chlorophyll. Leaves spiral , sometimes decussate, margin often toothed . Inflorescence racemose; bracteoles paired , basal. Flowers (4 or) 5-merous. Calyx imbricate. Corolla connate , imbricate. Stamens 10, sometimes with spurs or awns , dehiscing by pores , pollen in tetrads , rarely single. Ovary superior or inferior, placentation axile , rarely parietal , often many ovules per locule. Style ± as long as corolla, slender. Fruit a capsule or berry, rarely a drupe; calyx persistent.

About 125 genera and 4000 species: widely distributed in temperate and subarctic regions, also at high elevations in tropical regions ; 22 genera and 826 species (524 endemic) in China.

The Monotropoideae are here included in the Ericaceae; previously in FRPS (56: 157 216. 1990), they were treated as the Pyrolaceae. Chiogenes, recorded from China in FRPS (57(3) : 69 71. 1991), is here included in Gaultheria. Over the last half century, the Empetraceae have usually been separated from, but closely associated with, the Ericaceae. In their ecology, leaf morphology and insertion , rusts, embryology, stamen anatomy, etc. , they largely agree with that family . Molecular data place Empetrum and its relatives firmly within the Ericaceae, and in particular within the subfamily Ericoideae, in agreement with phytochemical and palynological data, and there they are best recognized as a separate tribe . There are distinctive features of the Empetreae that were responsible for their past familial status, e.g. , reduced perianth with separate members , low ovule number, enlarged stigmas, etc. However, these are likely to be derived features associated with wind pollination. See Kron et al. (Bot. Rev. 68: 335 423. 2002) and the recent treatment of the Ericaceae by Stevens et al. (in Kubitzki, Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 6: 145 194. 2004) .

Several genera and many species are ornamentals . Some fruits of Vaccinium in N China are sweet and edible, but of no particular value to humans. Some species of Chamaedaphne, Craibiodendron, Leucothoë, Lyonia, Pieris, and Rhododendron contain more or less toxic diterpenes, which are harmful to humans or domestic animals.[1]

Physical Description

Habit: Evergreen .

Flowers: Bloom Period: September, October, November, December. • Flower Color: pink


Size: 18-24" tall.


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Culture: Space 18-24" apart.

Soil: Minimum pH: 6.1 • Maximum pH: 7.5

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .

Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 10a, 10b, 11. (map)


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Erica Globiceps Gracilis • Syndesmanthus gracilis (Benth.) N. E. Br. • Syndesmanthus scaber Klotzsch Var. gracilis Benth.


Publishing author : J.C.Wendl. Publication : Bot. Beob. 47. 1798

A tentatively accepted name in the RHS Horticultural Database.

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Erica

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 88 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

E. arborea (Briar Root) · E. australis (Spanish Heath) · E. baccans (Berry Heath) · E. bauera 'Pink Maiden' (Bridal Heath) · E. blenna (Chinese Lantern Heath) · E. brachialis (Erica) · E. caffra (Erica) · E. canaliculata (Black-Eyed Heather) · E. canaliculata 'Rosea' (Christmas Heather) · E. capitata (Erica) · E. carnea (Scotch Heath) · E. carnea 'Ann Sparkes' (Scotch Heath) · E. carnea 'December Red' (Scotch Heath) · E. carnea 'Heathwood' (Scotch Heath) · E. carnea 'King George' (King George Spring Heath) · E. carnea 'Myretoun Ruby' (Scotch Heath) · E. carnea 'Springwood Pink' (Scotch Heath) · E. carnea 'Springwood White' (Scotch Heath) · E. carnea 'Winter Sport' (Scotch Heath) · E. casta (Erica) · E. cerinthoides (Fire Heath) · E. ciliaris (Dorset Heath) · E. cinerea (Bell Heather) · E. cinerea 'Atropurpurea' (Bell Heather) · E. cinerea 'Cevennes' (Bell Heather) · E. cinerea 'C.d. Eason' (Bell Heather) · E. cinerea 'Golden Sport' (Bell Heather) · E. cinerea 'Pink Ice' (Bell Heather) · E. cinerea 'Purple Beauty' (Bell Heather) · E. cinerea 'P.s. Patrick' (Bell Heather) · E. cruenta (Blood Red Heath) · E. cubica (Pink Heath) · E. curviflora (Water Heath) · E. densifolia (Knysna Heath) · E. diaphana (Heath) · E. erigena (Irish Heath) · E. erigena 'Golden Lady' (Irish Heath) · E. erigena 'Irish Dusk' (Irish Heath) · E. glandulosa (Erica) · E. glauca var. elegans (Erica) · E. glomiflora (Erica) · E. gracilis (Erica) · E. infundibuliformis (Erica) · E. jasminiflora (Jasmine Heath) · E. longifolia (Long-Leaved Heath) · E. lusitanica (Cross-Leaf Heath) · E. mackayana (Erica) · E. mammosa (Ninepin Heath) · E. melanthera 'Improved Form' (Heather) · E. oatesii 'Winter Fire' (Tree Heath) · E. patersonia (Mealie Heath) · E. perspicua (Prince of Wales Heath) · E. peziza (Kapokkie Heath) · E. plukenetii (Erica) · E. regia (Elim Heath) · E. retorta (Erica) · E. rubens (Red Heath) · E. scoparia (Besom Heath) · E. sessiliflora (Green Heath) · E. terminalis (Erica) · E. tetralix (Cross-Leaved Heather) · E. tetralix 'Alba Mollis' (Cross-Leaved Heath) · E. tetralix 'Con Underwood' (Cross-Leaved Heath) · E. tetralix 'Pink Star' (Cross-Leaved Heath) · E. umbellata (Dwarf Spanish Heath) · E. vagans (Cornish Heath) · E. vagans f. aureifolia 'Valerie Proudley' (Cornish Heath 'valerie Proudley') · E. vagans 'Lyoness' (Cornish Heath Lyoness) · E. ventricosa (Franschhoek Heath) · E. versicolor (Outeniqua Heath) · E. verticillata (Erica) · E. viridiflora (Erica) · E. viridipurpurea (Erica) · E. x darleyensis (Darley Dale Heath) · E. x darleyensis 'Kramer's Red' (Darley Heath) · E. x darleyensis 'Ghost Hills' (Darley Dale Heath) · E. × darleyensis 'Kramer's Rote' (Kramer's Red Winter Heath) · E. x darleyensis 'Margaret Porter' (Darley Dale Heath) · E. x darleyensis 'Mary Helen' (Darley Dale Heath) · E. x darleyensis 'Mediterranean Pink' (Darley Dale Heath) · E. x darleyensis 'Mediterranean White' (Darley Dale Heath) · E. × darleyensis 'Rubina' (Heather 'rubina') · E. x darleyensis 'Silberschmelze' (Darley Dale Heath) · E. x griffithsii (Erica) · E. x hiemalis (French Heather) · E. x stuartii 'Irish Lemon' (Heather) · E. x veitchii (Erica) · E. x williamsii (Williams Heath)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal March 01, 2008:



  1. Mingyuan Fang, Ruizheng Fang, Mingyou He, Linzheng Hu, Hanbi Yang, Haining Qin, Tianlu Min, David F. Chamberlain, Peter Stevens, Gary D. Wallace & Arne Anderberg "Ericaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 14 Page 242. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2/1/2015