Open the Advanced Search

Darley Dale Heath

Erica darleyensis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Ericaceae (Heath)
Evergreen shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, roadsides, rocky places.

Pink, 4 petals
Pinkish-white, bell-shaped flowers. Many-flowered. Pollinated by insects.
The fruit is a capsule that produces its seeds.
Whorls of needle-like leaves. Leaves measure up to 13mm in length. Within the UK, Darley Dale Heath can be found on roadsides and in churchyards.
Other Names:
Cape Heath, Darley Heath, Molten Silver Heath, Winter Heath.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Erica darleyensis, also known as Darley Dale heath, is a species of flowering plant that is native to the mountains of Europe. It is a low-growing evergreen shrub that typically grows to be about 20-30 cm tall. The leaves are needle-like and are arranged in whorls around the stem. The plant has spikes of small, urn-shaped, pink, or white flowers that bloom in late winter or early spring. The plant is commonly found in rocky, well-drained soils, and it is drought-tolerant once established. It is also used as an ornamental plant and it is popular as a garden plant, particularly for rock gardens, low hedges, and ground cover. It is a hardy plant, and it is able to survive in cold climates.


Darley Dale Heath, also known as Erica darleyensis, is a beautiful evergreen shrub that is native to the moors of southwestern Europe. It is a member of the heather family and is known for its delicate pink and white flowers, which bloom in the early spring.

Erica darleyensis was first discovered in the late 1800s in the Darley Dale area of Derbyshire, England, hence its common name. The plant quickly became popular among gardeners and horticulturists for its hardiness and striking appearance, and it has since been widely cultivated and propagated throughout Europe and the United States.

One of the most distinctive features of Darley Dale Heath is its delicate flowers, which are typically pink or white and appear in clusters at the tips of the plant's branches. The flowers bloom in early spring, usually around February or March, and can last for several weeks.

In addition to its beautiful flowers, Darley Dale Heath is also valued for its evergreen foliage, which provides year-round interest in the garden. The plant has narrow, needle-like leaves that are arranged in whorls along the stems, giving it a feathery appearance. The leaves are also highly aromatic, with a pleasant, pine-like scent.

Darley Dale Heath is a relatively low-maintenance plant that thrives in acidic, well-drained soil and partial shade. It is drought-tolerant once established and can even withstand light frost and snow. However, it is susceptible to root rot and should be planted in well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging.

One of the best ways to enjoy Darley Dale Heath in the garden is to plant it in groups or clusters, where its delicate flowers and feathery foliage can be appreciated en masse. It also makes an excellent container plant for patios and balconies.

Darley Dale Heath is a stunning plant that is highly prized by gardeners and horticulturists for its beauty, hardiness, and ease of care. Whether you're looking to add a splash of color to your garden in the early spring or create an eye-catching container display, Darley Dale Heath is a great choice that is sure to impress.

There are several different cultivars of Erica darleyensis available, each with its own unique characteristics. Some popular varieties include 'Kramer's Rote', which features deep pink flowers, and 'Silberschmelze', which has white flowers and silvery-grey foliage. Another cultivar, 'Mediterranean Pink', is known for its particularly abundant flowers and upright growth habit.

Darley Dale Heath is also a popular plant for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden. Its early spring bloom time makes it an important source of nectar and pollen for these insects, which can be especially crucial during times when other food sources are scarce.

In addition to its ornamental value, Darley Dale Heath has several practical uses as well. In traditional medicine, the plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory infections and rheumatism. The leaves and flowers are also used in the production of honey, which is prized for its delicate, floral flavor.

Darley Dale Heath is a beautiful and versatile plant that is well-suited for a variety of garden settings. Whether you're looking to create a colorful spring display or attract pollinators to your yard, this lovely shrub is sure to impress with its delicate flowers, aromatic foliage, and hardy nature.

Darley Dale Heath is a great plant for gardeners who are looking to create a low-maintenance garden. The plant requires little care once established, and it can be left to grow on its own without the need for regular pruning or fertilization. However, it is important to note that the plant may become leggy over time and may benefit from occasional light pruning to encourage bushier growth.

One of the benefits of growing Darley Dale Heath is that it is a relatively pest and disease-resistant plant. It is rarely affected by serious insect or disease issues, although it can be susceptible to root rot if planted in overly wet soil. To avoid this issue, it is recommended to plant Darley Dale Heath in well-draining soil and to avoid overwatering.

Darley Dale Heath is also a great plant for container gardening. Its compact size and attractive flowers make it a popular choice for patio or balcony displays. When planting Darley Dale Heath in containers, be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and to water the plant regularly to ensure that it does not dry out.

Darley Dale Heath is a beautiful and versatile plant that is a great addition to any garden. With its delicate flowers, evergreen foliage, and hardy nature, this lovely shrub is sure to impress and delight gardeners for years to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map