French brier

French brier

French brier: see heath.

The tree heath (Erica arborea) is a shrub or small evergreen tree with a typical height of 1-4m, with some specimens reaching 7m. The numerous small flowers are white. The tree heath prefers acid soil. It is found mostly in the Macchia, dry evergreen shrublands, all around the Mediterranean region, west to Portugal and the Canary and Madeira Islands, and with disjunct areas in Africa including the Ethiopian Highlands, the mountains of Ruwenzori and the Cameroon mountains.

The wood is used for making smoking pipes, and is known as briar root wood, bruyère, or French brier.

Other tall growing heaths, including the Portugal Heath Erica lusitanica may also sometimes be called tree heath.



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