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The Common Heath


FLORAL EMBLEM

The Common (Pink) Heath, Epacris Impresa Labill., was found in Tasmania by the French explorer Labillardière in 1793, and was described by him in 1805 following his return to France.

It is a slender shrub, usually 0.2 to 1 metre high, with a few erect branches and with flowers ranging in colour from white through pink to red. The spreading leaves which are 8 to 15 mm long, are stiff, narrow and tapered to a sharp point. The showy bell-like flowers are found on the upper parts of the branches. Frequently all flowers point in the same direction.

The name impressa refers to the indentations at the base of the flower-tube. This is a feature not found in any other Epacris.

The Common (Pink) Heath is frost-hardy and normally flowers through winter and spring, although some flowers have been recorded as early as March.

Introduced into cultivation in Britain about 1830, and cultivated in the United States, these attractive flowering plants make a colourful display in many of Victoria's winter gardens where they may also attract their normal bird pollinating vector, the Eastern Spinebill which hovers in front of the flowers and is well adapted to their
pollination.

Proclaimed 11th November, 1958.
Government Gazette No. 98, dated 12th November.