General Description:

The plant family Ericaceae (heaths and heathers) is widespread in many parts of the globe, particularly Europe and South Africa. It contains a number of widely cultivated plants such as Erica, Rhododendron and Pieris.

Like most of Australia’s members of the Ericaceae, Epacris belongs to the subfamily Epacridoideae, which was formerly classified as a separate family, the Epacridaceae. Epacris consists of about 40 species of mainly small shrubs. Most are endemic to Australia but a few species can be found in New Zealand and New Caledonia. They occur in a variety of habitats from alpine areas to coastal heaths.

Epacris reclinata is usually a small shrub of less than a metre in height with an open, straggling habit of growth. It occurs in moist, protected locations among rocks. The branches are stiff and have small, heart-shaped leaves about 50mm long. The flowers are narrow and tubular, about 15mm long and occur in the leaf axils. They contain nectar and are frequented by honey-eating birds. The colour ranges from pink through to bright red. Flowering occurs from autumn through to spring.

Like other members of the genus, E.reclinata is a very desirable and attractive plant but it is not particularly easy to maintain in cultivation for long periods. It should be given a well drained position in semi shade or full sun and it is also a very attractive plant for a container.

Propagation of E.impressa is usually by cuttings of firm current season’s growth. The species can be grown from seed but this is not readily available.

 

Plant profile image

Epacris reclinata
Photo: Brian Walters

 

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