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Leucopogon ericoides facts for kids

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Pink beard-heath
Leucopogon ericoides St Ives.jpg
St Ives North, Australia
Scientific classification
Leucopogon ericoidesDistA59.png
Occurrence data from AVH
  • Styphelia ericoides Sm.

Leucopogon ericoides, commonly known as the pink beard-heath, is a common shrub found in southeastern Australia.

In 1793 this species first appeared in scientific literature as Styphelia ericoides in A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland, published by James Edward Smith. It was later published in 1810, in the Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae as Leucopogon ericoides, authored by the prolific Scottish botanist, Robert Brown.

It grows as a slender, prickly plant usually seen less than 0.9 m (3 ft) high. The small branches have fine hairs. The leaves are oblong in shape, rarely elliptic, and measure 4.2 to 15.5 mm in length by 0.7 to 2.3 mm across. Like many plants in this genus, the leaves have parallel veins. The fruiting capsule is often curved, reverse ovoid in shape with prominent ridges. It is flat topped, with a few hairs and becomes brown on maturity, and measures 2.4 to 5.7 mm long.

Leucopogon ericoides is commonly seen on sandstone soils in dry eucalyptus woodland and heathland. In the Sydney region it is associated with Sydney peppermint (Eucalyptus piperita), scribbly gum (E. sclerophylla) and narrow-leaved apple (Angophora bakeri). The white or pink flowers form in late winter and spring from July to October, and peak in September. The specific epithet ericoides refers to the similarity of the leaves to the European Heath. Plants live between five and twenty years, and are killed by fire and regenerate from seed which lies dormant in the soil. Bees seek out the flowers for their nectar.

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