‘Cherise’ (=Erica verticillata)

Medium-sized, erect shrub, to an average height of 1.0–1.3m, to 0.5–1.0m broad. Flowers dark reddish-pink, tubular, 17mm long, 4mm diameter, arranged in terminal 4-flowered (or less freqently 3- or 5-flowered) umbels, on very short lateral branches. 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 to 4–9cm long, in whorls of 5 or 6. Foliage dark green, glossy; leaves to 5mm long. Seed produced sparsely.

Origins: accession number 549/06 (obtained from Nurserymen’s Exchange, Monterey, California, USA). This clone was marketed in USA and UK under the registered trademark RUBY LACE™.

Named by Anthony Hitchcock after Cherise Viljoen, horticulturist at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden.

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.2012:11  registered by Anthony Hitchcock, Nursery, Plant Collections & Threatened Species Program Manager Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden.