Family: Epacridaceae
Common Name: Native Heath

Native to eastern Australia and New Zealand, these evergreen, heath-like shrubs are suitable for shrub borders or, in frost-prone climates, for a cool conservatory or greenhouse. They have long, thin branches, tiny, prickly leaves and drooping clusters of tubular flowers on the stem ends. Some species flower almost contin­uously, but usually they bloom in spring and summer.


E. impressa, common heath, is the floral emblem of Victoria. An erect shrub, to 1 m (3 ft), it has very narrow, prickly leaves and dense clusters of white, pink or red flowers, up to 20 mm (1 in) long, in spring and summer. This species is easy to grow and transplants well.

E. longiflora, native fuchsia, is a straggly shrub, to 1 m (3 ft). A very good rockery plant, it produces rich crimson flowers, to 25 mm (1 in), tipped with white, from spring to summer.

E. microphylla, coral heath, is an erect shrub to 1 m (3 ft). It has very tiny leaves and dense clusters of 6 mm (¼ in) long white bell flowers. A quite commonly grown species, it is suited to rock gardens.


Under glass, grow in pots of acid, soilless potting compost, and in maximum light but with shade from strong sun. Outdoors, these shrubs prefer a well-drained, fibrous, peaty soil, and can tolerate quite acidic conditions. Plant most species in a cool, moist, protected situation, but do not overwater in summer and avoid disturbing the soil where possible. Apply a little blood and hone each spring. Prune annually after flowering. Propagate from cuttings in late spring through summer or from seed as soon as it is ripe.


Zone 9 if comparatively frost-free.

Entelea      Epidendrum