Genus Erica An Identification Aid Version 4.00

A handy tool to use in the identification of Erica species, are now freely available: Genus Erica: An Identification Aid Version 4.00.

The history of the discovery and collection of Ericaceae (Erica and Rhododendron family), a family of flowering plants that includes well-known genera like Rhododendron, Vaccinium, and Erica, spans centuries and reflects the global exploration of botanical diversity.

First studies of African representatives of the heaths or ericas were done by Carl Linnaeus. A drawing of Erica cerinthoides, appeared in Breynius’ Centuria of 1678. while Francis Guthrie and Harry Bolus laid down the foundations of the modern study of the Ericaceae family with a revision of the genus Erica in the fourth volume of Flora Capensis, published in 1905.

This tool help both amateurs and professionals identify (using a limited number of accessible characteristics) the 851 species and many subspecific taxa of the flowering plant genus Erica. Included in Version 4.00 are new features such as integrating distribution data from GBIF and iNaturalist and providing links to taxonomic resources through World Flora Online. Included as well is a probability function for identifications.

Download the data and the installation kit from here

A preprint is available here

Reference: Oliver EGH, Forshaw N, Oliver IM, Volk F, Schumann AWS, Dorr LJ, Hoekstra RD, Musker SD, Nürk NM, Pirie M, Rebelo AG (2024) Genus Erica: An Identification Aid Version 4.00. ARPHA Preprints 5: e117930.