April 23, 2017

Over Hill and Darley Dale

Erica x darleyensis 'Mediterranean Pink' - winter heath

Janine Pineo Photo | Erica x darleyensis ‘Mediterranean Pink’ – winter heath

It should come as no surprise that nature does make its own hybrids, but we humans seem to be surprised when it happens. Take Erica x darleyensis ‘Mediterranean Pink.’ Known as winter heath, this hybrid was “found” in 1890 at Darley Dale Nurseries in Derbyshire, England, apparently a cross between E. erigena and E. carnea. Originally marketed as ‘Darley Dale,’ ‘Mediterranean Pink’ is a tough heath, although hardy only to Zone 6, which is a tiny part of the state. The plant prefers full sun and steady moisture. It can reach upwards of 3 feet in width and 1 to 2 feet tall.