Family: Epacridaceae
Common Name: White Beard Heath, Native Currant

Many of these small shrubs are difficult to cul­tivate, but can sometimes be successfully grown in rockeries or pots. There are around 150 species, mostly native to Australia, with some in Malaysia and New Caledonia. They have stiff, ornamental foliage and hairy flowers, gen­erally white or pink. Most flower in summer. The orange or red fruits of some species are edible.


Not all of these are available outside their native countries.

L. ericoides is a small shrub from eastern Australia, growing to about 1 m (3 ft) high. Fairly common on heathland and coastal dunes, it has grayish foliage, pink buds and pinkish white flowers.

L. fraseri, Otago heath, is a prostrate to low, spreading shrub, 30-60 cm (12-24 in) high, with pinkish flowers and edible, orange-yellow berries.

L. juniperinus grows 60-90 cm (24-36 in) high, with prickly foliage and white flowers.

L. linifolius is a lovely, leafy shrub, with clus­ters of fluffy, white flowers.

L. milliganii is a prostrate, spreading, alpine species from Tasmania, with bright red berries.

L. strictus is a small shrub from Western Australia, with attractive, reddish pink flowers.


Where frosts occur, grow in a cool conservatory or greenhouse in pots of acid, soil-less, potting compost. Ensure good light. Outdoors, grow in moist, acid soil containing plenty of humus, in partial shade or full sun. Propagate from semi-ripe cuttings in summer.


Zone 10, or warmer parts of zone 9.

Leucojum      Leucospermum