The plant has an interesting history. It occurred naturally on damp sandy soils in the Cape Peninsula of South Africa. By the late 1800s agriculture and urban sprawl had wiped out its habit. For almost a century it was only known from herbarium specimens. In 1984, horticulturists at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden of South Africa located plants of this species growing in Protea Park in Pretoria and also at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew in England. Several years later a mature plant was also found at Kirstenbosch and these 3 clones have now been successfully propagated and distributed.
It is an attractive shrub with dark green, soft foliage that is usually 3′ tall, but under the right circumstances can get a lot taller. I have seen reports of 10′ plants. It flowers from late summer until late winter. This plant will be covered with long showy tubular flowers, that are arranged in many rows of whorls near the tips of the stiffly upright branches. They are colored white at the base and mauve pink to purple at the tip.
Pronunciation: ER-ee-kuh ver-ti-si-LAH-tuh
Species Meaning: Referring to a whorl
Erica verticillate is native to South Africa.
Can be pruned to keep tidy.
Best if planted in an open sunny location with well-drained slightly acidic soil.
Thrives on winter moisture.
Heel cuttings are selected from fresh side shoots usually taken in autumn, but they can be rooted at other times of the year. Pine bark and perlite under mist and on heated propagation benches. Rooting is enhanced by using a powder-based rooting hormone. Rooting takes from three to six weeks.
In Our Garden
Plant ID: P20163
We acquired this plant from Farmington Gardens.