This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Phylica Ericoides. Heath-LeavED Phylica
Perianthium 5-partitum, turbinatum. Petala 0. Squamae 5, stamina munientes. Caps. tricocca, infera.
PHYLICA ericoides foliis linearibus verticillatis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. p. 235. Ait. Kew. V. 1. p. 268.
ALATERNOIDES africana ericae foliis, floribus albicantibus et muscosis. Comm. Hort. 2. p. 1. t. 1.
Mr. Miller, who cultivated this plant in 1731, informs us, that it grows wild about Lisbon, where it covers extensive tracts of ground, in the same manner as the heath does in this country; it seldom rises above the height of three feet, and is much disposed to become bushy; its flowers, which are slightly odoriferous, begin to appear in autumn, and continue during the winter and spring; they grow in little heads on the summits of the branches: their whiteness, contrasted with the dark colour of the foliage, forms a pleasing appearance, and entitles this plant, though a common and long-established inhabitant of the greenhouse, to a place with such as may boast more brilliancy of colour.
Its leaves, which thickly cover the stalks, do not well accord with Linnaeus's specific description.
It is usually propagated by cuttings, which strike readily.