Erica imbricata is a common species around Western Cape sandy flats and slopes. The plant is commonly called ker-ker, a word resembling the sound when the plant is brushed against. The flower colour is usually white, but variable to include also pink, brown or red forms. Flowers grow in threes or bigger clusters. They are oval in shape and often sticky. The calyx is almost as long as the corolla, enveloping it, so that it is mainly the bracts and sepals that are normally seen. The name imbricata (meaning overlapping in Latin), reflects this feature.
The dark brown anthers (as well as the style) are characteristically exserted (protruding). This feature helps with identification of the plant, although E. placentaeflora is a similar species. The two species can be distinguished by the latter having a more spherical corolla shape and a more lax growth habit. The branches of E. imbricata are tufted with the small narrow leaves gathered at the tips. The plant tends to branch much.
E. imbricata is found in nature from Vanrhynsdorp to Albertinia and on the Swartberg north of Oudtshoorn. It flowers from August to December, although reports of it flowering all the year round also exist (Baker and Oliver, 1967; Bean and Johns, 2005; Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010).