Erica tetralix, or cross-leaved heath, is found in many of the heathlands, bogs, damp coniferous woodlands, and open areas of western Europe. It can also be found in central Europe, but its habitat there is restricted to boggy areas.
The Wikipedia entry for Erica tetralix notes that Darwin suggested it may be a protocarnivorous species, trapping (but not digesting) insects on its sticky glandular leaves. Given Darwin’s heralded power of observation, it seems strange that Wikipedia also notes that few (if any) have gone on to test Darwin’s hypothesis.
flowers small- to medium-sized, white to yellow or greenish often tipped with pink, pleasantly scented, sometimes borne in compact blossoms or if singly, opening successively, sometimes in the form of sheltering globose or urceolate flowers, blossoms providing minute quantities of nectar and small- to medium-sized pollen grains
Lastly, in BPotD news, a work-learn student has been hired to help over the next eight months. Though his background is in birds, Dominic Janus (enrolled in UBC Forestry’s Natural Resources Conservation program) is going to turn some of his attention to plants for us. You can view his photographs on Flickr: dominic.janus@Flickr. We could certainly have added this photo to the entry on Tillandsia usneoides last month!