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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Erica ciliaris - Dorset Heath

Range & Status

Native; an Oceanic southern-temperate shrub, occurring in Ireland, France, Spain,

Portugal and north-west Morocco, and in Britain in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.

Regional Distribution

In Cornwall it has been recorded in 54 1km. squares, but only 19 since 1999. It is mainly found within an area extending from near Truro (SW74) north to St. Agnes (SW65) and south-east to Carland Cross (SW85) \endash the Dorset Heath Triangle! Elsewhere it still occcurs on The Lizard as a native and is known to have been planted at Chyenhal Moor (SW42) and Marazion Marsh (SW53).

Habitat & Ecology

Damp or wet heaths, it often grows with Cross-leaved Heath Erica tetralix with which it can hybridise ( E. x watsonii ). It can also be found on mine waste and rarely on Cornish Hedges.


It is readily overgrown by scrub and this requires vigorous control. On wetter heaths it can hybridise so readily with Cross-leaved Heath that the resulting hybrid can replace it, as at Quintrell Downs (SW86). Many of the sites are very small and could easily be lost.


Many of the sites are within SSSI and one (Carrine Common) is a SAC.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.