Bell heather ( Erica tetralix ), illustration
The heather ( Erica, v. Greek ereike 'Heide'), also called Heiden or Eriken , are a genus of plants from the heather family (Ericaceae), which includes around 860 species. The majority of them are based in South Africa, with only a few representatives reaching as far as Europe and the Middle East.
Colloquially, many dwarf shrubs in the heathland are called "heather" without actually belonging to the heather ( erica ). This applies also to the closely related heather ( Calluna vulgaris ), which often consisted formative plant is a heathland in Europe.
Heather are evergreen, prostrate shrubs and trees that can grow up to 10 meters tall. The pulp is even, the bud scales may be missing. Supporting and bracts are rare with the axillary shoot grown ( recauleszent ). The leaves are in whorls , rarely opposite or scattered.
The petals wither, but are permanent, the usually four, rarely one to five sepals are small and bract-like to large and colored, the mostly eight, rarely four to six or ten stamens have straight to S-shaped stamens , and in cross-section flattened to cylindrical spurs either at the extreme end of the stamens or on the back of the anthers . The pollen rarely form monads.
The number of chromosomes is n = 12, rarely n = 18.
Around 90% of the species in the genus are native to southern Africa , the other species are found in the rest of Africa, Madagascar , the southwestern Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East or Europe. They can be found from sea level to the Afroalpine level.
The genus, first described by Linné in 1753, comprises around 860 species. Together with the monotypic genera Daboecia and Calluna , it forms the tribe Ericeae in the subfamily of the Ericoideae , this classification was supported by molecular genetic studies. The internal systematics of the genre, on the other hand, has not been adequately researched and is considered open.
Here is a selection of species with details of their home areas:
- Erica abietina L .: Cape Province.
- Tree heather ( Erica arborea L. )
- Erica australis L .: Morocco, Spain and Portugal.
- Erica azorica Hochst. ex Seub.
- Erica baccans L .: Cape Province.
- Erica baueri Andrews : Cape Province.
- Erica canaliculata Andrews : Cape Province.
- Snow heather ( Erica carnea L. , Syn .: Erica herbacea L. )
- Erica casta Guthrie & Bolus
- Scarlet heather ( Erica cerinthoides L. ): South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.
- Dorset Heath ( Erica ciliaris L. ): Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France and Great Britain.
- Gray heather or Atlantic gray heather ( Erica cinerea L. ): Europe and Algeria.
- Erica cruenta sol. : Cape Province.
- Erica curviflora L .: Cape Province.
- Erica diosmifolia Salisb. : Cape Province.
- Erica doliiformis Salisb. : Cape Province.
- Erica equisetifolia Salisb. : Southwest Cape Province.
- Purple heather ( Erica erigena R. Ross ): Portugal, Spain, southwestern France, and western Ireland.
- Erica fervida L. Bolus : Cape Province.
- Erica glandulosa Thunb. : Cape Province.
- Erica glauca Andrews : Cape Province.
- Erica gracilis J.C. Wendl. : Southern Cape Province.
- Erica hebecalyx Benth. : Cape Province.
- Erica hirta Thunb. : Southwest Cape Province.
- Erica holosericea Salisb. : Cape Province.
- Erica laeta Bartl. : Cape Province.
- Portuguese Heath ( Erica lusitanica Rudolph ): It is native to Spain, southern Portugal and southwestern France. It is a neophyte in Great Britain, Ireland, the western United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Erica mackayana Bab. : Northwestern Spain and western Ireland.
- Erica mammosa L .: Cape Province.
- Erica manipuliflora Salisb. (Syn .: Erica verticillata Forssk. ): Croatia, Italy, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, western Syria, Lebanon and Israel.
- Multi-flowered heather ( Erica multiflora L. ): Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Morocco, northern Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.
- Erica nana Salisb. : Cape Province.
- Erica pageana L. Bolus : Cape Province.
- Erica patersonia Andrews : Cape Province.
- Erica perspicua J.C. Wendl. : Cape Province.
- Erica peziza G. Sinclair : Cape Province.
- Erica pillansii Bolus : Cape Province.
- Erica pinea Thunb. : Cape Province.
- Erica quadrangularis Salisb. : Cape Province.
- Erica regia Bartl. : Cape Province.
- Erica scoparia L .: Canary Islands, Madeira, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.
- Erica sitiens Klotzsch : Cape Province.
- Erica spiculifolia Salisb. : Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and northern Turkey.
- Erica taxifolia Aiton : Cape Province.
- Erica terminalis Salisb. ; Morocco, southern Spain, Corsica, Sardinia and southern Italy.
- Bell heather ( Erica tetralix L. )
- Erica totta Thunb. : Southwest Cape Province.
- Erica umbellata L .: Morocco, Portugal and western Spain.
- Cornwall heather ( Erica vagans L. )
- Erica versicolor J.C. Wendl. : Cape Province.
- Erica vestita Thunb. : Cape Province.
- PF Stevens et al .: Ericaceae. In: Klaus Kubitzki (Ed.): The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants - Volume VI - Flowering Plants - Dicotyledons - Celastrales, Oxalidales, Rosales, Cornales, Ericales. 2004, p. 173, ISBN 978-3-540-06512-8
The information in this article is taken from the literature given under references; the following literature is also cited:
- Kathleen A. Kron et al .: A phylogenetic classification of Ericaceae: Molecular and morphological evidence. In: Botanical Review, 68, 2002, pp. 335-423
- Erica im Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
- Claus-Peter Lieckfeld : " The beautiful Erika " - travel report with a view of neophytes In: DIE ZEIT No. 38 of September 15, 2005
- Erica In: Dressler, S., Schmidt, M. & G. Zizka: African plants - A Photo Guide , Senckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt / Main, 2014ff.