‘African Phoenix’ (=Erica verticillata)

Tall, erect shrub, average height 1.8m, old specimens to 2.5m; 1.2–1.4m broad. Flowers medium pink, tubular, 18mm long, to 4mm diameter, in terminal, 3-, 4- or 5-flowered umbels, on very short lateral branches arranged in whorls. Synflorescences neat, spike-like, each with up to 6 whorls of flowering branches, on strong, erect, main branches; terminal apex of the stem continuing growth. Non-flowering lateral branches on the main flowering stems in whorls of 5. Foliage green; leaves to 5mm long. Seed produced.

Origins: clone from Protea Park, Pretoria; cutting taken and introduced to Kirstenbosch in 1984 (accession number 536/84); used for planting in Rondevlei Nature Reserve in 1994 where it has produced seedlings.

Being of South African origin the plant is not regarded as hardy in the UK and is preferably grown in a pot, using ericaceous compost, and brought into a frost free, light and airy environment during the winter months.

® E.2012:05  registered by Anthony Hitchcock, Nursery, Plant Collections & Threatened Species Program Manager Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden.