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A dwarf evergreen shrub about 9 in. high, forming dense tufts of erect, very leafy twigs, heath-like in appearance; branches slender, downy. Leaves spreading, much crowded, linear, 1⁄8 to 1⁄6 in. long, ending in a bristle; the margins recurved and more or less glandular-hairy; lower surface white, but nearly hidden by the recurved margins. Flowers densely packed in a terminal, erect raceme 1 in. or less long. Corolla bell-shaped, 1⁄8 in. long, with four rounded lobes, rosy; calyx similarly coloured but much smaller, and with pointed lobes. Stamens eight; seed-vessel globular, with the style and calyx persisting; flower-stalk 1⁄8 in. long. Bot. Mag., t. 8148.
Native of the mountains of E. Europe and Asia Minor, discovered by Sibthorp in 1802, near Bursa; introduced to Kew in 1888. It differs from hardy ericas in the open-mouthed corolla. Commencing to bloom early in June, it continues for about a month. It is a dainty little plant, not particularly showy, but suitable for a nook with peaty soil in the rock garden and quite hardy. It may be increased by seed, which it ripens freely, and by cuttings treated as advised for hardy heaths (see Erica). The flower-colour of seedlings varies from pale to deep pink.