Erica carnea ‘Vivellii’

winter heath

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

winter heaths provide months of color just when we seems to need it most. From January to May, 'Vivellii' covers itself with hundreds of small, urn-shaped, purplish-pink flowers that darken to magenta. It is an evergreen shrub with a low, spreading habit, making it an excellent groundcover for sunny locations or for adding interest to winter containers. Individual branches are somewhat irregular in spacing, creating textural interest, and its needle-like leaves are medium green with a bronze cast in winter. This form caught the eye of judges during a GPP Erica evaluation held in 2003 at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, B.C. Judges commented on the profusion of pink flowers. 'Vivellii' was collected in the Engadive Alps, Switzerland, by Paul Theoholdt in 1906 and named after his employer A. Vivell of Olten, Switzerland.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 0 ft. 6 in. (0.15 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 4 in. (0.40 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 0 ft. 0 in. (0.00 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: violet

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: regular watering during dry weather

Wildlife Associations: bees

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: dark green, blue, chartreuse, bronze

Great Color Partners: pink, orange, yellow, gold

Culture Notes
Heath produces the most flowers in full sun. It prefers a location with well-drained or sandy soil and it is best to water regularly during dry weather. Newly planted heath can dry out quickly once planted so it is important to water often and deeply when the plant is young. It can also be helpful to soak the plant in a bucket of water to fully saturate the soil before planting. After the blossoms have faded a light shearing will remove most of the faded flowers and promote dense growth.