ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. Candle_heath_neville_walsh_royal_botanic_gardens_vic Candle heath_Neville Walsh_Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
  2. Candle_heath__neil_blair_royal_botanic_gardens_vic Candle heath _Neil Blair_Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
  3. Candle_heath_flowers_nimal._g._karunajeewa_royal_botanic_gardens_vic Candle heath flowers_Nimal. G. Karunajeewa_Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
  4. Candle_heath_nimal._g._karunajeewa_royal_botanic_gardens_vic Candle heath_Nimal. G. Karunajeewa_Royal Botanic Gardens VIC

Candle Heath

Richea continentis

Appearance

Description: Dense, multi-branched shrub forming extensive colonies. Candle heath grows to approximately 50-100 cm tall. 

Leaves: leaves are erect and spread outwardly, shape varies from leaf to leaf but they generally are lance-shaped and have sharp points. All leaves are of a similar bright green colour. 

Flowers: Dec – Feb. The flowers of candle heath branch out above the shrub on a red stalk measuring between 10 and 30cm. Fragrant, greenish-white flowers bloom on the terminal end of the stalk. The flowers are trumpet-shaped and are 4-8mm long and 4-5mm in diameter. 

Fruits/seeds: approximately 3–5 mm in diameter.

What to Observe

  • First fully open single flower
  • Full flowering (record all days)
  • End of flowering (when 95% of the flowers have faded)
  • Open seed pods containing seeds (record all days)

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect plants to start shooting and flowering earlier in the year as a result of climate change warming the Earth. Climate change will directly affect the ecological communities in which this alpine species resides. An increase in temperature and extreme heat events will reduce viable habitat for this species.

Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?"

When To Look

Candle heath can be seen flowering between December and February.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout all year!

 

Where To Look

Candle heath is found growing in montane to alpine wet heathland near watercourses or bogs, usually associated with sphagnum moss. Snowy Mountains and the western edge of the ACT.

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!

Sightings

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  1. Did You Know?

    Candle heaths can be used to deter animals in gardens, due to their prickly leaves.