Erica nana is mostly a procumbent dwarf shrublet growing among rocks and cliffs. Few plants become bigger shrubs reaching 1 m in height. Nanus is dwarf in Latin. The flowers appear in great abundance, yellow-green at first, developing into bright yellow coverings for the neat and linear, overlapping leaf columns on the stems. The yellow tube flowers end in wavy edged lobes. The anthers do not protrude. It is very similar to E. foliacea, differing only in the shape of the ovary.
The plant grows in the Kogelberg and around Sir Lowry's Pass in the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Although its habitat is not suitable for farming and is largely a protected area, it is small, prone to veld fires and close to a large and growing human population.
E. nana is yet another member of this popular genus that does well in cultivation. As a pot-plant, in the garden in full sun or semi-shade, it grows slowly, but lasts long. More leafy in shade, more compact and better blooming in sun. Acid and well-drained soil with mainly winter watering are prerequisites for success (Baker and Oliver, 1967; Hitchcock in Veld and Flora, 1990).