Erica mammosa

Botanical name

Erica mammosa

Other names

Ninepin heath; rooiklossieheide (Afrikaans)




A woody, multibranched fynbos shrub of 1,7 m

Description of stem


Description of leaves

Tiny, grey-green, lanceolate to linear leaves scattered around branches

Description of flowers

Profuse maroon, pink, greenish-white or white tubular flowers of 1,5 to 2,5 cm, fluted longitudinally, on peduncle of a few mm on terminal racemes; tube opening fourlobed; flowers appear October to March

Description of seed/fruit


Description of roots



Highly variable flower colours

Propagation and cultivation

Semi-hardwood cuttings; well-drained soil, but kept moist




Garden plant in winter rainfall areas

Ecological rarity


Pests and diseases

Several conditions can affect this plant, including powdery mildew, root rot, rust or fusarium wilt, all of which can be controlled


The oldest specimen in the Pretoria National Herbarium is of E. mammosa, collected in 1811 by W.J. Burchell near Salt River in the Cape; the herbarium contains about 1,2 million specimens


Sunny slopes in winter rainfall areas on acid, loam ro sandy loam soil in full sun or much sun

Distribution (SA provinces)

Western Cape


South Africa


Erica mammosa flower by Andrew Massyn, Wikimedia Projects

Erica mammosa: Photographed by Retha Wareham