This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
A low much branched evergreen shrub, with minute linear opposite crowded and imbricated leaves, and small white or pink flowers, in terminal one-sided dense, spikelike racemes. Sepals 4, scarious, concave, obtuse, longer than and concealing the corolla. Corolla camparmlate when expanded, 4-parted, slightly twisted, persistent, becoming scarious. Stamens 8, distinct; filaments short; anthers oblong, attached to the filaments by their backs, opening by a longitudinal slit, each sac with a dorsal reflexed appendage. Disk 8-lobed. Ovary depressed-globose, 8-angled; style slender; stigma capitel-late. Capsule somewhat 4-sided, 4-celled, sep-ticidally 4-valved, few-seeded. Seeds ovoid, pendulous, not winged. [Greek to sweep, its twigs used for brooms.]
A monotypic genus of Eurooe and Asia.
Erica vulgaris L. Sp. Pl. 352. 1753.
C. vulgaris Salisb. Trans. Linn. Soc. 6: 317. 1802.
A straggling shrub, the branches ascending, 3' - 15' high, the twigs puberulent or glabrous. Leaves sessile, about i" long, very numerous, imbricated in 4 rows, usually 2-auricled at the base, 3-angled, grooved on the back, glabrous, ciliate or canescent; calyx with 4 small bracts at the base; corolla about \\" long, nearly concealed by the 4 scarious pink or white sepals.
Sandy or rocky soil, Newfoundland to New Jersey. Naturalized or adventive from Europe. Grig. July-Sept.
Erica cinčrea L., the Scotch heath, found at one spot on Nantucket Island, has an ovoid 4-toothed corolla, much longer than the calyx (about 3" long) and linear leaves, mostly verticillate in 3's.
Erica Tetralix L., the cross-leaved heath, also on Nantucket, has a similar corolla and linear leaves verticillate in 4's. Both are waifs from Europe.