Erica imbricata

Family:

Ericaceae

Genus:

Erica

Species:

imbricata – meaning ‘overlapping like roof tiles’, referring to the floral leaves

Common name:

Kêr-kêr

Vulnerability Index Score:

4

80cm

June to December

Insects, Seeder

Fresh

Least concern

What does the plant look like?

Erica imbricata is an upright shrub with branches that produce many flowers. It grows up to 80 cm tall.

What are the flowers like?

The white or pink flowers are about 3 mm long and hang downwards.The male parts of the flower (anthers) hang out of the flower head.This species is well known among flower pickers as ‘kêr-kêr’ because of the sound the plants make when they are brushed against.The plant flowers from June to December.

How does it reproduce?

Erica imbricata is visited by a variety of insect species (generalist insect- pollination system). The tiny seeds are released once flowers have dried.

Where is it found?

It grows on dry coastal flats and mountain slopes from Gifberg to Port Elizabeth.

How is it used?

It is a cut-flower that is in demand in the fresh flower industry.

Conservation

[Red List: Least Concern]

This species is not threatened but some of the habitats where it grows are under threat, e.g. seasonally wet areas.