Cross-leaved Heath

Erica tetralix

''Erica tetralix'' is a species of heather found in Atlantic areas of Europe, from southern Portugal to central Norway, as well as a number of boggy regions further from the coast in Central Europe. In bogs, wet heaths and damp coniferous woodland, ''Erica tetralix'' can become a dominant part of the flora. It has also been introduced to parts of North America and other parts of Europe such as Austria and Switzerland.

It is a perennial subshrub with small pink bell-shaped drooping flowers borne in compact clusters at the ends of its shoots, and leaves in whorls of four . The flowers appear between June and October. The distinction between ''E. tetralix'' and the related species ''Erica cinerea'' is that the linear leaves are usually glandular and in whorls of four, while in ''E. cinerea'' they are glabrous and borne in whorls of three. By comparison, the leaves of ''Calluna vulgaris'' are much smaller and scale-like and borne in opposite and decussate pairs. . The sticky, adhesive glands on leaves, sepals and other parts of the plant prompted Charles Darwin to suggested that this species might be a protocarnivorous plant, but little if any research has been done on this.
Status: Unknown
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderEricales
FamilyEricaceae
GenusErica
Species