Erica vagans

Range & Status

Native; an Oceanic Southern-temperate shrub that occurs in France, northern Spain,

Ireland and in Cornwall.

Regional Distribution

As a native it is restricted to The Lizard and two outlying stations near Connor Downs (SW53).

Habitat & Ecology

On The Lizard Erica vagans is confined to areas on serpentine and gabbro. It is found in two distinct heathland communities; with Black Bog-rush Schoenus nigricans in Tall Heath ; and Gorse Ulex europaeus in Mixed Heath (Coombe & Frost, 1956; Rodwell, 1991). However, it also grows, often luxuriantly, on Cornish Hedges in the area.


The main threat is habitat destruction and fragmentation. The railway site, near Connor Downs, has recently been greatly diminished due to herbicide spray by the railway company and that sizeable colony may have been destroyed.


Much of the heathland on The Lizard is SSSI and managed by the National Trust, Natural England or Cornwall Wildlife Trust.