Erica ventricosa (Italian Heather) | ©Ryan Johnson

Common names: Wax Heath, Washeide, Porcelain Heath, Franschhoek Heath, Franschhoekheide, Italian Heather.

Erica ventricosa (Ericaceae), with its exquisite flowers and dense, compact habit, is one of the most attractive of the Erica species. Its name is derived from the Latin ventricosus, referring to the swollen or inflated shape of its flowers. 

Erica ventricosa is a shrub native to South Africa, where it is found mainly on the upper slopes in the Paarl, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Hottentots Holland Mountains, growing on nutrient poor, well-drained acid soils [1].