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.

Erica cerinthoides L.

Half-hardy, erect heath with umbels, to 3.5cm across, of tubular, red, pink or white flowers, mainly in winter and spring.  To 1.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 


Horticultural & Botanical History

‘One of the most magnificent and shewy of the genus, grows wild at the Cape, from whence it was introduced to the royal garden at Kew, by Mr. Masson, in 1774; it is the more valuable, as it flowers during most of the year: its blossoms are found to vary from a deep to a very pale red.’  [BM t.220/1793].  The Floricultural Cabinet described a good show specimen: ‘Flowers in heads, tube an inch long, rich scarlet; fine.  Usually this plant is of a straggling habit, but the plants exhibited had had the leads stopped, and they were handsome bushes, have thirty or more heads of beautiful flowers.’  [FC p.253/1849].  LBC no.1679/1832.  IH p.190 vol.5/1858. 


History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1843 and 1845 catalogues.  See Erica nudiflora L. and Erica bauera Andr.  Erica cerinthoides is marked with a ‘c’, indicating grown at Camden, in a copy of Loddiges’ 1836 catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA].  Probably obtained from Loddiges’ nursery. 



Erica cerinthoides P.J.Bergius (1767) = Erica elongata Lodd.  This plant is listed in Loddiges’ 1836 catalogue under the name E. elongata and is unlikely to be Macarthur’s plant. 


Published Jan 09, 2009 - 01:49 PM | Last updated Sep 29, 2011 - 05:06 PM

The image shows a heath with a terminal cluster of bright red tubular flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.220, 1793.

Erica cerinthoides L. | BM t.220/1793 | BHL


Family Ericaceae
Region of origin

Southern Africa

Common Name

Erica heath, Fire heath

Name in the Camden Park Record
Confidence level high