Daboecia - St. Dabeoc's Heath

Daboecia cantabrica

Daboecia cantabrica

What is Daboecia?

Daboecia is a genus of flowering plants. It belongs to the Ericaceae family of small shrubs or dwarf plants. Also known as St. Dabeoc's heath, the plant is native to south-western Europe's heathland and cliffs. According to The Plant List, the Daboecia plant genus consists of two species.

Daboecia Etymology

Daboecia was obtained from the Irish words 'fraoch Dabeoc' pronounced as 'da-vock'. The plant genus was named after a Welsh Chieftain's son, Dabeoc. The 'o' and 'e' vowels were erroneously interchanged when the word was translated to Latin. The term is also associated with the Irish Saint Dabheog.

Daboecia Description

Daboecia flowers are urn-shaped. They come in pink, white and red colors to choose from. They also come in various hues of purple such as lavender up to 16 Heather colors. The evergreen shrubs are short in height, making them dwarf plants.

The plant's larger corolla is what differentiates it from the European Erica plant species. Daboecia plants have unwhorled alternate leaves. The leathery leaves are elliptical and silver or whitish beneath.

White Daboecia Heath cantabrica Flowers

White Daboecia Heath cantabrica Flowers

Daboecia Cultivation

The two Daboecia species cross-bred by chance to form a popular hybrid garden plant. The plants thrive in acidic soils. St. Dabeoc's heath plants flower in early summer and autumn. In the latter season, the plants flower into winter.

They're pruned on a yearly basis to prevent them from becoming straggly. Unlike other heathers, the plants are drought-resistant and tolerant to shade.

Daboecia Plant Uses

Daboecia plants are inter-planted with other shrubs to offer ground cover. They beautify gardens when planted in drifts of distinct flower colors for an appealing outdoor look.

Daboecia Species

  • Daboecia cantabrica
  • Daboecia azorica

Daboecia Hybrid

  • Daboecia x scotica

Grow Daboecia in Your Home Garden

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