Erica bauera is a hairless shrublet that grows erect, slender branches, lanky and open, to heights around 90 cm. The species is taxonomically grouped with more than twenty others in the Pleurocallis Section of the Erica genus, characterised by axillary flowers with tubular corollas, typically longer than 12 mm. Grouping similar species of a large genus together facilitates identification searches.
This attractive species is well-known and popular in gardens as it is easy to grow, being both hardy and long-lived. In nature it is less common these days, restricted to sandy flats in slightly acid soils south of the Langeberg between Albertinia and Riversdale.
The plant is unlikely to disappear from the horticultural scene, but its habitat is under threat because much thatch harvesting occurs there, sometimes accompanied by seasonal burning, brush-cutting or ploughing to secure good thatch crops.
This dark pink garden specimen has two-toned flowers, white near the tips and on the corolla lobes (Baker and Oliver, 1967; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; www.plantzafrica.com).
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