Erica arborea ‘Spring Smile’ – This species is native to the Mediterranean and North African regions and as such, needs a sunny sheltered micro-climate here in coastal BC. ‘Spring Smile’ features abundant white blooms from April to May that attract bees and lime green foliage with golden-yellow new growth tips. Grows 5′ high by 3′ wide. Hardy to zone 8.
Erica gracilis – A South African native with variable blooms of rosy pink, white or even reddish-purple (Sept. to Jan.) that contrast nicely against the mid-green foliage. It makes a spectacular container specimen for autumn through early winter, although it will probably need to be overwintered in a cool greenhouse here in coastal BC. Grows 2′ high by 18-24″ wide. Hardy to 28F.
Erica arborea ‘Golden Joy’ – A sport of ‘Alpina’, discovered and introduced into cultivation by David Wilson of The Heather Farm in Chilliwack BC. It features intense gold foliage and white flowers from March through to May. This looks absolutely beautiful in containers when combined with deep burgundy Heuchera such as ‘Blackcurrant’. Grows 80″ high by 36″ wide. Hardy to zone 8.
Erica x ‘African Fanfare’ – This is likely a cultivated hybrid derived from the South African species Erica verticillata, which may be extinct in the wild. It features fabulous clusters of tubular purplish-mauve flowers with lighter bases. Although not reliably hardy here, it can be overwintered in a cool greenhouse. Grows 3′ high by 2′ wide. Hardy to 20F.
Erica arborea ‘Estrella Gold’ – This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner is an upright evergreen shrub with ascending branches. It features lime green foliage with bright chartreuse new growth and a floriferous display of white honey-scented flowers from April to May. Prefers full sun with good soil drainage. Lightly prune after flowering. Grows 4′ high by 2-3′ wide. Hardy to zone 8.