Epacris impressa Labill.

Common Heath

Nov. Holl. Pl. 1: 43, t. 58 (1805) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Erect or spreading shrub to c. 1.2(–2) m high. Branchlets tomentose to villous. Leaves spreading at maturity, linear-lanceolate to elliptic-ovate, 4–15(–25) mm long, 0.8–3(–8.5) mm wide, glabrous to pubescent, flat, midvein keeled beneath, otherwise venation obscure; apex acute to acuminate, mucronate; margins minutely serrulate; base truncate to cuneate; petiole 0–1 mm long. Flowers pedicellate in axils, along 30 cm or more of upper branches, ± pendulous and secund; bracts (10–)15–30; sepals triangular to ovate, 2–5 mm long, acute; corolla white, pink or red, tubular to narrowly campanulate, tube 4–20 mm long, at least twice length of calyx, with 5 small indentations near the base, lobes 1–3.5 mm long, obtuse; anthers partly or fully exserted; ovary glabrous, nectary scales truncate, style tapering slightly (4–)7–16(–24) mm long, glabrous or rarely puberulent. Flowers all year, mainly Apr.–Nov.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Glep, Gold, GGr, HFE, HNF, HSF, LoM, MonT, OtP, OtR, SnM, Strz, VAlp, VVP, WaP, WPro, Wim. Common and widespread in southern Victoria, occurring principally in heathland, woodland and open-forest on sands, loams and rocky outcrops.

An extremely polymorphic species with respect to leaf size, indumentum, corolla colour and morphology, habit, flowering time and regeneration strategy. Studies focusing on such variation include Stace & Fripp (1977) and O'Brien & Calder (1989).

Some Grampians populations (e.g. on Mt Zero, Mt Stapylton and in the Black Range) are sometimes distinguished as var. grandiflora Benth. They differ from other Victorian populations of E. impressa in their villous (cf. tomentose to puberulent) branchlets and elliptic or elliptic-ovate pubescent leaves to 8.5 mm wide. However, plants with somewhat intermediate characters occur in the region (e.g. Victoria Range, Mt Arapiles), and other distinctive forms of the species occur locally in Victoria.

Source: Albrecht, D.E. (1996). Epacridaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 3, Dicotyledons Winteraceae to Myrtaceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Ericales
family Ericaceae
genus Epacris
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Epacris impressa in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Epacris impressa in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Glenelg Plain present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Otway Ranges present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Monaro Tablelands present native
Highlands-Far East present native
Victorian Alps present native
Snowy Mountains present native

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory