ClimateWatch

An initiative of Earthwatch Institute

  1. 181 Photo by Doug Beckers
  2. 181_0 Photo by Laurie Wilson
  3. 181_1 Photo by Laurie Wilson
  4. 181_2 Photo by Laurie Wilson

Fuchsia Heath

Epacris longiflora

Appearance

  • An upright to spreading evergreen shrub, typically straggly with branches arching towards the ground.
  • Size: 0.5 – 2 m high.
  • Leaves: with pointed tip and wide base, they are often described as heart-shaped. Each leaf is 5 – 17 mm long, 3 – 6.6 mm wide, and has slightly serrated margins. It is thin, flat, and sometimes has a rough upper surface.
  • Flowers: long and tubular, some have pink-red tubes and white lobes (tips), others are all white. They are 5 – 6 mm in diameter and 12 – 27 mm long, with the lobes being 2.4 – 4.4 mm long. They grow in rows along the branches and are upright at first and then hang down as they reach maturity.
  • Fruit/seed: capsules of 3 – 4 mm long contain the small seeds.
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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 / capsules (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. They may also start appearing in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?".

When To Look

  • Throughout the year
  • Flowers appear throughout the year with a peak from June to October
  • Seeds appear after flowers

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

Where To Look

  • In heath, dry forests, woodland margins and open forests, it is also common in moist sandstone gullies and in sandy soils on cliff faces and rocky outcrops.
  • From Berry on the south coast of New South Wales, north to southern Queensland.

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

Fuchsia Heath Occurrence Map ALA

References

Walther G, Post E, Convey P, Menzel A, Parmesan C, Beebee TJC, Fromentin J, Hoegh-Guldberg O, and Bairlein F 2002. Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature 416: 389–395.

Morley BD & Toelken HR (eds) 1983. Flowering Plants of Australia. Rigby, Adelaide.

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  1. What Else?

    Its flowers distinguish it from any other plant.

  1. Did You Know?

    Its genus name Epicris means upon (epi) and a summit (acris), referring to the altitude where some species occur; and its species name longiflora means long (longus) and flower (florus), referring to the long, narrow flowers.

    Its flowers are frequented by honey-eating birds.