Erica × darleyensis ‘Kramer's Rote’

Darley heath

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

This hybrid heath has compact form and an upright, bushy habit. Its small, bell-shaped flowers are clear reddish purple and are arranged along stems held at varying angles, which creates textural interest. 'Kramer's Rote' blooms from December into April, its flowers smothering the evergreen, needle-like, bronze-green to dark green leaves. This cultivar was favored by judges during a GPP Erica evaluation held in 2003 at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, B.C. Planted in six locations in the garden, 'Kramer's Rote' caught everyone's eye. It was admired for its outstanding habit, evergreen foliage, and vibrant flowers. Mass plantings of this heath create an excellent groundcover for sunny locations, providing outstanding winter interest. Heaths add interest to winter containers and produce nectar that attracts bees on mild winter days. 'Kramer's Rote' was made by Kurt Kramer, crossing E. carnea 'Myretoun Ruby' with E. erigena 'Brightness'.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 1 ft. 4 in. (0.40 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 1 ft. 6 in. (0.46 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 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.