Richea continentis

Candle Heath

Dense, many-branched prickly shrub forming extensive colonies.

Additional information

  • FamilyEricaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Size0.5-1 m x 0.5-1.5 m
  • Plant groupingShrubs to 2m
  • LeavesCrowded, erect to spreading, egg-shaped, lance-shaped or triangular leaves, 1-4 cm x 2-7 mm, tip prickly, base sheathing around stem.
  • Flower colourCreamy-white
  • Flowering timeDecember to February
  • FlowersNarrow terminal spike-like flowerhead with short side branches, 10-30 cm long on downy reddish stalk, held well above the leaves. Flowers small, fragrant, tube splitting to base, top shedding.
  • Bird attractingNo
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsWet, draining soil in mountain and subalpine wet heathland near bogs and watercourses. Frost and snow tolerant. Full sun to semi shade.
  • Garden useGrow in cool gardens where soil remains moist as an understorey, rockery plant or in containers. Can be used to restrict movement but placement is important due to the extreme prickliness.
  • Commercially availableUnlikely to be available within the Shire of Yarra Ranges
  • Conservation statusRare in Victoria. Significant within the Shire. Known from very few local sites. More common outside the Shire boundary.
  • Related speciesRichea victoriana may fall just within the Shire boundary. It can be distinguished by its shorter dense flowerhead to 12 cm at or just above the leaves on a short hairless stalk. The older wood has prominent scars from fallen leaves.
Photographer/s: Marilyn Bull ©

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