Candle Heath Neil Blair/RBGV

Candle Heath

Richea continentis

Dense, multi-branched shrub forming extensive colonies, 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

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

Fruits/Seeds

Approximately 3 – 5 mm in diameter.

Species: WhatToObserve Image

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)

Climate Adaptations

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.

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Flowering between December and February

Where To Look

  • Snowy Mountains and the western edge of the Australian Capital Territory
  • In montane to alpine wet heathland near watercourses or bogs, usually associated with sphagnum moss
Species: WhatElse Image

What Else?

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