Erica sessiliflora

Erica sessiliflora.

Family Ericaceae.
Green heath or white bottlebrush heath is a very distinctive erica species.

It is a shrub, up to 2 m high, with many closely spaced branches.
Branches are covered with needle-like leaves up to 8 mm long.
They are alternately arranged but so close they appear to be in whorls.
The base tapers but there is no definite stalk.
They have an almost spine-like tip.

Inflorescences are a spike of tightly packed flowers at the top of the main branches.
Individual flowers have no stalk and are horizontal or hang down.
The 4 pale greenish sepals are separate.

Flowers are tube-shaped and up to 30 mm long.
They are a pale yellow-green with a darker tip.
There are 4 petals fused except for very small flaring end lobes.

There are 8 stamens with long, basal appendages.
The ovary, of 4 fused carpels is superior.
The single style is apical.

The red fruiting heads are diagnostic for E. sessiliflora.
After the petals have fallen the sepals enlarge and become fleshy.
Initially soft and green they become red and hard around the developing ovules.
Being tightly packed they look like a cone.
They can remain like this for years until exposed to fire.

The tip of the branch continues to grow with leaves and another terminal inflorescence.
This results in a long stem with alternating areas of fruiting heads and leaves with
    terminal flowers.

The mature fruit are capsules with 4 chambers from the 4 locules in the ovary.