Erica ciliaris or Dorset Heath has large pitcher-shaped blooms in shades of pink and white.  Plants trail in habit and vary in height from 6" to 24".  Blooms begin in June, with faded blossoms still attractive in December.  Foliage is usually pale green and leaves are slightly sticky.  Annual pruning and thinning keeps plants more tidy.  The species occurs naturally in moist acid soil and sunny locations, but can withstand drought conditions quite well.  Usually suffers some weather damage at about 10 degrees F., but heavy pruning in spring often revives the plant. Ciliaris are among our absolute favorites with their large colorful flowers in the fall when most others are finished blooming.

 

Zones 7 (0 degrees) and warmer.

* = picture

+ = Award of Garden Merit, UK

Cultivar

Flower Color

Time of
Bloom

Height and Width
in approx. 4 yrs

Foliage

Winter

Foliage

Comments

Aurea *

bright lilac pink

Aug-Nov

upright 10” x 24”

yellow

coral winter and spring

can burn in a windy site

Corfe Castle * +

hot rose pink

July-Oct

spreading 8” x 18”

medium green

 

glows with bright color

David

McClintock * +

white with
beetroot tip

July-Oct

loose 12" x 18"

gray green

 

neat flower

Globosa *

lilac pink

Aug-Nov

broad erect

12" x 20"

medium green

 

large globose flowers

Mrs C. H.

Gill * +

crimson

July-Oct

bushy 8" x 18"

dark green

 

 

Mawiana *

deep mauve

Aug-Nov

untidy bushy

14” x 18”

gray green

 

keep pruned,    a.k.a. ‘Maweana’

Ram *

magenta

Sept-Oct

compact 6" x 16"

light yellow green

 

nice habit for a ciliaris

Stoborough * +

white

July-Oct

erect 10" x 18"

medium green

 

 

White Wings

white

Aug-Sept

spreading 6” x 18”

dark gray green

 

 

Wych *

large pale shell pink

Aug-Nov

upright 12” x 20”

medium green