Erica lusitanica

Erica lusitanica

Erica lusitanica is a species of flowering plant in the heather family known by the common names Spanish heath and Portuguese heath. It is native to southwestern Europe and it is present in other regions of the world as an introduced species and sometimes a noxious weed. It is naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, the British Isles, and California. This is a hairy, woody shrub just under two meters in maximum height. It is densely covered in green, leathery, needle-like evergreen leaves each less than a centimeter long. Flowers appear between the leaves singly or in small clusters. Each is a hanging rounded tubular bell of fused light pink to white petals. The fruit is a capsule a few millimeters long filled with minuscule seeds small enough to disperse on the wind. A single plant can produce millions of seeds per year. The plant is grown as an ornamental plant. Garden escapees easily become invasive weeds in some climates.

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