Erica lusitanica

Erica lusitanica.

Known as Portuguese or Spanish heath it is naturalised in Australia and widely cultivated.
It is an environmental weed in the southern states.

An evergreen shrub up to 2 -3 m high.
Young stems are green and older ones brown and woody.
They have 1 mm long unbranched hairs.

The needle-like leaves are alternately placed but so close they appear to be in whorls of 3 or 4.

They are under 10 mm long and 1 mm wide.
The edges are rolled under forming a longitudinal groove on the lower surface.
They have a very short or no stalk.

Inflorescences are on the ends of small side branches along the main stem.
They consist of 1 to a few white, tubular flowers that hang down.
The calyx has 4 white sepals under 1 mm long with fused bases.

Flowers are on short stalks that have 2 or 3 bracteoles.
Buds are pink and older flowers are brown.
There are 4 petals, 3 to 5 mm long that are fused for most of their length.
The blunt lobes are 1 mm long.

There are 8 stamens with white filaments with hairs basally.
The deep purple anthers form a tight ring around the style.
The anthers open via short slits and there is a basal appendage.

The ovary consists of fused carpels.
There is a single style and stigma which reaches the top of the corolla tube.
The fruit is a tiny capsule, 2 to 3 mm long that holds up to 100 seeds.

E. arborea has branched hairs on the stems, smaller leaves only 3 to 5 mm long and its white flowers have a dark red rim.

E. quadrangularis has unbranched hairs, leaves up to 3 mm long and 3 mm white to pink flowers.