Range & Status
Native; an Oceanic southern-temperate shrub, occurring in Ireland, France, Spain,
Portugal and north-west Morocco, and in Britain in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.
In Cornwall it has been recorded in 54 1km. squares, but only 19 since 1999. It is mainly found within an area extending from near Truro (SW74) north to St. Agnes (SW65) and south-east to Carland Cross (SW85) \endash the Dorset Heath Triangle! Elsewhere it still occcurs on The Lizard as a native and is known to have been planted at Chyenhal Moor (SW42) and Marazion Marsh (SW53).
Habitat & Ecology
Damp or wet heaths, it often grows with Cross-leaved Heath Erica tetralix with which it can hybridise ( E. x watsonii ). It can also be found on mine waste and rarely on Cornish Hedges.
It is readily overgrown by scrub and this requires vigorous control. On wetter heaths it can hybridise so readily with Cross-leaved Heath that the resulting hybrid can replace it, as at Quintrell Downs (SW86). Many of the sites are very small and could easily be lost.
Many of the sites are within SSSI and one (Carrine Common) is a SAC.