Plant of the Month
Photos: Herb Knufken and Rachel Cobb
Erica canaliculata (sometimes sold as Erica melanthera)
Common Name: Christmas Heather, sometimes called Scotch Heather although it is native to South Africa)
Growth Habit: This is a dense-growing shrub that is 4-6’ tall with upward growing spire-like branching.
It grows 3-4’ wide.
Cultural Requirements: These shrubs like full sun or partial shade. They are not particular about soils. They are fairly drought tolerant and shouldn’t be overwatered in the summer.
Features/Uses: Christmas Heather has tiny bell-shaped pink blooms for most of the cool months, including the holiday season. There are red flowering forms, but these are not very available. Flowering branches are great as cut flowers whether they are in water or not.
The tiny leaves give a fine-textured appearance to the shrubs that contrast well with many other landscape plants.
Bloom Time: Flowering occurs from early winter into spring.
Where in the Garden: Ecke Building, African Garden, and South African Garden
Also see the full Plant of the Month list