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Common Heath - Floral Emblem of Victoria

Australia Wildflowers / Australian Flora

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Australia Wildflowers / Australian Flora
Whilst the Common Health (Epacris impressa) is a shrub that grows up to a 2 metres in height, along the coastal habitat the slender shrub is usually less than a metre in height. A native to the south-east corner of Australia, it is found growing in the coastal heathlands, montane and sub-alpine regions. The Common Health can be found growing along the north coast and east coast of Tasmania, and along the coastline from Clyde River in New South Wales, along the Victoria coastline, to the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia. In Victoria it is also found in the adjoining foothills, the Grampians and the Little Desert.

The Common Health shrub has stiff branches with rigid, small alternate leaves, narrow with pointed apices. The flowers are tubular, up to 25 mm long, arranged singly in the leaf axils. Sometimes the flowers are so densely clustered around the stems, they can assume a cylindrical brush-like appearance, whilst on other plants they may be more sparsely arranged along one side of the stem.

It was in 1793 that the French botanist, Jacques-Julien Houton de Labillardiere during his voyage with Bruny D'Entrecasteaux on the unsuccessful search for the missing explorer, La Perouse, who collected the Common Heath in Tasmania.

The Common Health comes in a number of colours from white, pale pink, rose pink, crimson and scarlet. There is also a rare double flower form. It is the pink form of the Common Heath that was proclaimed on the 11 November, 1958 as the floral emblem of Victoria.

There is more information on the Common Heath from the Australian National Herbarium / Australian National Botanic Gardens website and in our Common Health Flora section.

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Common Heath - Wildflowers in Australia - Snapshots from Australia

Common Health (Epacris impressa)
Common Health (Epacris impressa) Common Health (Epacris impressa)
Common Health (Epacris impressa)
Common Health (Epacris impressa)
Common Health (Epacris impressa) Common Health (Epacris impressa)
Common Health (Epacris impressa)
Common Health (Epacris impressa)
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