Usually known as tree heathers but in practice they may be regarded as garden shrubs. The word ‘tree’ is a misnomer and gives an incorrect impression. Tree heathers can be damaged by heavy snowfalls but will usually break from the base again. Young plants should be trimmed in the early years to avoid untidy growth, remove up to one third of new growth to keep them bushy.
This shrub heather blooms in Winter and Spring and is naturally found throughout the Mediterranean region. The best, and most popular forms are the golden foliage varieties ( Albert’s Gold, Golden Joy, Estrella Gold). Generally in the UK gardens, in favourable situations and left untrimmed, it will attain 6-8ft (3-4 metres) . Grows best on acid soils
Growing to an ultimate height of 6-8ft (2-3 metres) with white (Mr Robert) and pink (Riverslea) flowers in late Spring. A deeper semi double lilac pink form growing to 4-5ft (1.5 metres) is ‘Trisha’. New white cultivars are in production.
This tree, or shrub heather, has pink flower buds in Spring opening to white with fresh green feathery foliage growing to a height of 6ft (2 metres). Native of Portugal; south-western and north-eastern Spain and south-western France. It has a long flowering period and will grow in most soils. A golden foliaged form (George Hunt) has lemon yellow foliage but is best in a sheltered situation.
Erica x veitchii
This tree or shrub heather blooms from mid-winter to late spring. A hybrid between the tree heath (Erica arborea) and the Portuguese tree heather (Erica lusitanica), It can be grown in most alkaline soils and the variety ‘Exeter’ has white scented flowers whilst ‘Gold Tips’ has white flowers with its Spring foliage tipped golden yellow.
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