Just 15 minutes walk up the road from my home is a patch of bushland we often go walking in. It isn’t pristine native forest by any stretch, but you can still see quite a lot of native species and some indigenous to this area.
Last weekend we saw the best display of our State’s Floral Emblem, Epacris impressa, the Common Heath that I think I have ever seen.
Maybe it was just that it was such a bright display of colour on a dreary sort of a day, but my daughter and I were as delighted as if we had come across a forest carpeted with bluebells.
The Common Heath has a scrubby and narrow kind of habit with short spiky leaves. It can grow to over a metre, but to be honest I’ve rarely seen a tall specimen. Common Heath flowers are fluted bells and range from almost pure white through a soft pink to a very vivid, deep pink.
It is a very hardy native, particularly if our local bushland is anything to go by. It is growing in rocky clay with little by way of topsoil and only a thin mulch of eucalypt leaves, from the trees that suck most moisture from the surrounding soil.
I now have it on my list for when we finally finish clearing out the old plum trees and my garden of native plants can start going in. Yet I have to stop seeing plants I want as it means I yet again have to resist the urge to get one. I’m gathering quite a collection of plants sitting in pots while I figure out what to do about the old plum tree stumps!
If you are interested in reading more about the Common Heath quite a detailed page can be found here.