Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Epacris purpurascens R.Br.

Stiffly erect shrub with ovate leaves and white flowers flushed with reddish-purple.  To 1.5m.  [RHSD, FNSW].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain as Epacris purpurascens in 1803.  [JD].  ‘The specific character of Epacris grandiflora in Willdenow’s Species Plantarum will equally answer for this species [Epacris pungens], which, though very like the former in the foliage, is however totally different in the form of the corolla, having a tube not much exceeding the limb, whereas the tube of grandiflora is cylindrical, and exceeds the limb in length many times.  Though this species frequently occurs among dried specimens sent from New South Wales, we have not heard of any living plant in this country except the one from which our drawing was made in March last, sent us by Mr. Colville, Nursery-man, in King’s-Road, Chelsea.  The whole plant consisted of one simple stem, but among dried specimens it usually occurs branched, in this state too the limb of the corolla is perfectly white and the red colour is seen only in the tube and the unopened flower-buds; in our plant a blush-colour pervaded the whole flower, but very pale on the inside the limb and much deeper in the tube and buds.  It is a greenhouse shrub, and seems equally hardy with others from the neighbourhood of Port-Jackson.  Was raised from seeds imported from that country, and whether it will admit of being propagated in any other way we are as yet uncertain.’  [BM t.844/1805 as Epacris pungens].  BM t.1199/1809.

History at Camden Park

Epacris purpurescens is marked with a ‘c’ in an 1836 edition of Loddiges’ Nursery catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA].  In William Macarthur’s code, used and explained elsewhere, this means grown at Camden.  It is almost certain that it was grown in the gardens around this time but it did not appear in the catalogues.  It grows naturally from Gosford in the north to the Blue Mountains and Macarthur probably collected his plants in the wild.


Epacris purpurescens Sieber ex DC. (1839) = Epacris pulchella Cav.

Published Apr 02, 2010 - 05:16 PM | Last updated Apr 02, 2010 - 05:22 PM

Figured is an erect inflorescence with small pointed leaves and pink flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.844, 1805.

Epacris purpurascens R.Br. | BM t.844/1805 as Epacris pungens | BHL

Family Epacridaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia, NSW

  • Epacris pungens Sims
  • Lysinema purpurascens (Sims) Coutois
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Epacris purpurascens 

Confidence level high