pronounced: er-eck-AY-see-eye

the heath family

The name is derived from the Greek ερεικη (ereiké), heath. Most of the family are lime-hating plants that thrive on acidic soils. Most are herbs, dwarf shrubs, or shrubs, with leaves that are usually alternate or whorled, simple and without stipules, and often thick, leathery and shiny. Species growing in dry conditions often have thin, needle-like leaves. The flowers vary considerably between species, but are bisexual. They usually grow in clusters, and usually each flower has 4 or 5 petals forming a tube or trumpet. The stamens are not attached to the flower tube. Fruits are capsules or berries.


Photograph by Willow via Wikipedia Commons