Ericaceae (including the now-defunct Epacridaceae) are important in Tasmania,
with about 95 native species, 62% of which are endemic.
They are prominent in most vegetation, and range from prostrate
alpine shrubs to wet forest trees. A few species of Erica,
Rhododendron and Calluna
have become naturalised.
The flowers are
but conspicuous. The corolla is typically a tube with four or five short lobes. Sprengelia
has a short tube with long lobes. In Richea the tube is closed.
The anthers are often fused to the corolla. There is a single style
attached to the top of the superior ovary. The leaves are hard, tough
and often narrow, pointed, entire and with parallel veins. In Richea, Dracophyllum and Sprengelia
the leaf bases sheathe the stems.