top of page

Erica ventricosa 

Family: Ericaceae

Common names: moor wax, moor china


Erica ventricosa, with its exotic flowers and dense, compact habit, is one of the most attractive within the Erica species.



Erica ventricosa forms an erect, well-branched shrub between 0.5 and 1.0 m in height, with numerous robust vertical branches, densely covered with small, narrow, pointed, dark green, shiny and typically ericoid leaves. It produces spectacular displays of pink flowers during the summer. . They start as deep pink buds in dense clusters at the tips of branches. As the buds elongate, the bases swell and change to a delicate light pink color, with the narrow tips still pink. When open, the flower is an elegant urn shape, tapering to a narrow throat with lobes that extend backwards in a star shape. To add to its beauty,  they have the appearance of delicate porcelain and a glossy, wax-like texture that also gives the false impression of being tacky.


Distribution and habitat

Erica ventricosa grows on mountain slopes between 300 and 1400 m above sea level. It is found mainly on the upper slopes in the mountains of Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Hottentots Holland, where it grows in nutrient-poor, acidic well-drained soils with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5, and flowers during summer from October to January. These mountains receive considerable winter rainfall in places much higher than Kirstenbosch, which averages 1400 mm per year. In summer, these mountains are usually covered by moisture-laden southeastern clouds, which cool the atmosphere and dampen plants.


Derivation of the name and historical aspects

Its name is derived from the Latin ventricosus, referring to the swollen or inflated shape of its flowers. This Erica was very popular in England in the 19th century, where nurserymen cultivated it extensively as a pot plant.



The tubular flower shape is typical of those insect-pollinated species with a long proboscis. The insect hovers in front of the flower and probes the tube for nectar. In the process, pollen is deposited by the anthers on the upper parts of the proboscis and carried to the next flower.


Culture of Erica ventricosa

Erica ventricosa is easily cultivated and is one of the few ericas that have been successfully cultivated in the summer rain areas of South Africa. It is an excellent shrub, and in a decorative garden when planted in groups will produce the best effect. It requires a sunny position and well-draining acidic soil with an ideal pH ranging between 5.5 and 6.7. It is recommended to plant it insiro acidic substrate. This species produces numerous branches from its base, and regular pruning will enhance its good growth form and increase flower production. It is not resistant to severe frosts, but it is not affected by moderate frosts (-1 ° C). Gardeners looking for a hardy erica suitable for growing in pots can't do better than give this beautiful plant a try.


Weekly applications of seaweed-derived organic fertilizers proved adequate for good balanced growth and flowering. Best growth can be achieved during the summer months by applyingcontrolled release fertilizers which release nutrients gradually over a period of time. Too much nitrogen fertilizer, however, will result in too much foliage growth and possibly limit flowering.

Erica ventricosa Grandiflora

SKU: P1207
  • Vase 17 cm | Plant Height 30/40 cm

bottom of page