Erica carnea 'Springwood Pink'

Common Name: winter heath 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Ericaceae
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: January to March
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Best grown in sandy, acidic, medium moisture, well-drained loams that are enriched with peat. Unlike most of the heaths, this species will tolerate slightly alkaline soils. Best flowering occurs in full sun, but plants generally appreciate some part afternoon shade in hot St. Louis summers. In order to achieve sharp soil drainage, heaths are sometimes planted in raised beds. Avoid heavy clay soils. In St. Louis, plants should be covered in winter with mulch (e.g., evergreen boughs or straw). Heaths will bloom under snow in the northern areas of their growing range. If pruning is needed, it must be done immediately after flowering. Plants like cool summer climates and are not recommended for growing south of USDA Zone 7.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Erica carnea, commonly called winter heath, is a low-growing, evergreen shrub that is primarily native to the Alps in Europe. It typically grows in a mound to 6-9” (less frequently to 12”) tall, slowly spreading along the ground by procumbent stems to 20” or more. Over time, well-sited plants will form a dense ground cover. Needle-like medium green leaves (to 1/ 4” long) are in whorls of four. No fall color. Medium green foliage is bronze tipped. Erica carnea has additional common names, including snow heath (may bloom in snow), spring heath (may bloom in early spring) and alpine heath (mountainous native habitat). Specific epithet means flesh colored in reference to the flesh pink flower color. It is in the same family as and closely related to Scotch heather (Calluna vulgaris). Erica carnea is synonymous with and formerly known as Erica herbacea.

Genus name comes from the Latin word erice and Greek word ereike.

Specific epithet means flesh-colored or deep pink.

‘Sherwood Pink’ features urn-shaped, pure pink blooms (1/4” long) in one-sided racemes (to 3” long) from January to March.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in poorly drained soils. Powdery mildew, rust and wilt.

Garden Uses

Year-round attraction. Rock gardens. Slopes. Ground cover.