EMBOTHRIUM COCCINEUM.—Fire Bush. South America, 1851. This is a beautiful shrub, of tall growth, with flowers of great interest and beauty. Except in warm and favoured situations, it is not very hardy, and should always be grown as a wall plant. The fiery scarlet, orange-tinted flowers, resembling somewhat those of the Honeysuckle, are very beautiful by the first weeks of May. It grows to about 6 feet in height in southern England, and is, when in full flower, a shrub of unusual beauty.
EPHEDRA VULGARIS (syn Ephedra monastachya), from Siberia, 1772, is a half-hardy shrub of trailing habit, with inconspicuous flowers. Thriving in very poor soil, or on rocky situations, is the only reason why it is introduced here.
EPIGAEA REPENS.—Ground Laurel, or New England Mayflower. Northern United States, 1736. This is, perhaps, in so far as stature is concerned, hardly worthy of a place in our list, yet it is such a pretty and useful shrub, though rarely rising more than 6 inches from the ground, that we cannot well pass it over. For planting beneath Pine or other trees, where it can spread about at will, this prostrate shrub is most at home. There it enlivens the spot with its pretty evergreen foliage, and sweet-scented, white or pinky flowers. It is quite hardy.
ERCILLA SPICATA (syn Bridgesia spicata).—Chili, 1840. A small-growing, half-climbing shrub, with leathery, deep green leaves, and inconspicuous flowers. Hailing from Chili, it is not very hardy, but given the protection of a wall, or planted against a tree-stump, it soon forms a neat mass of evergreen foliage.
ERICA CARNEA.—South Europe, 1763. This is one of the most beautiful and desirable of hardy Heaths, on account of the richly-coloured flowers and early season at which they are produced. In the typical species the flowers are pink or flesh-coloured, and produced in January and February. It is a dwarf, compact growing species, with bright green foliage. There is a form with pure white flowers, named E. carnea alba, or E. herbacea, but although distinct and beautiful, it is not of so robust growth as the parent.
E. CILIARIS.—A pretty native species, with ciliate glandular leaves, and racemes of highly-coloured, rosy flowers. Found in Dorsetshire and Cornwall.
E. CINEREA,—Gray-leaved Heath. In this species, also a native of Britain, the flowers are of a reddish-purple colour, and borne in dense terminal racemes. There are numerous varieties, including a white-flowered E. cinerea alba; E. cinerea atro-purpurea, bearing dark purple flowers; E. cinerea atro-sanguinea, dark red flowers; E. cinerea coccinea, scarlet; E. cinerea purpurea, purple flowers; and E. cinerea rosea, with deep rose-coloured flowers.