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Epacris pulchella Cav.
Family Ericaceae
Subfamily Styphelioideae
Common name: Wallum Heath

Epacris pulchella Cav. APNI*

Description: Slender erect shrub, 40–150 cm high; stems with inconspicuous leaf scars; branchlets woolly.

Leaves spreading, ovate, 2.1–6.5 mm long, 1.4–4 mm wide, apex long-acuminate, base cordate, margins finely toothed; lamina thin, concave; petiole 0.5–0.8 mm long.

Flowers extending down branches, 5–8 mm diam., white or pinkish; peduncle 1.5–2 mm long; bracts long-acuminate. Sepals 2.8–5 mm long. Corolla tube 3–5.5 mm long; lobes 2.5–3.5 mm long. Anthers exserted.

Capsule c. 2 mm long.

Photo T.M. Tame

Photo D. Hardin

Other photo
Photo J. & P. Edwards


Flowering: throughout year, mainly January–May.

Distribution and occurrence: Grows in scrub, heath and dry sclerophyll forest on sandy soils; coast and tablelands, north from Conjola and Ettrema Creek.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, CT, ST
Other Australian states: Qld
AVH map***

Text by J. M. Powell, except for groups with contributors listed
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)


Life History
Vegetative spread No.

Longevity 10--20 years.

Primary juvenile period 3--6 years.

Flowers White--pink, November--June, peak January--April.

Fruit/seed Capsule 2 mm long, average seed weight 0.07 mg (J. Howell pers. comm.).

Dispersal, establishment and growth Diaspore: seed, no special dispersal morphology (Westoby et al. 1990).

Fire response Killed by high intensity fire (at Lane Cove River & Narrabeen Lake 1/1994), some plants flowering within 2 years 8 months and fruiting within 2 years 11 months of moderate intensity September fire (at Lane Cove River, P. Kubiak pers. comm.).

Habitat Hillsides, ridgetops, rock crevices.

Altitude 0--1000 m                                      Annual rainfall 1000--1600 mm

Typical local abundance Frequent--occasional.

Vegetation Woodland and heath e.g. with mallee eucalypts Eucalyptus stricta, E. apiculata, E. haemastoma and shrubs e.g. Leptospermum trinervium, Angophora hispida, Allocasuarina littoralis, Banksia ericifolia.

Substrate Sandy, skeletal soils from sandstone, low nutrient soils.

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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