Erica baccans

Berry heath

Family: Ericaceae

Origin: South Africa

A hand holding a cluster of berry heath with pink little buds at the tip of each stalk.
Berry heath has small pink bell-shaped flowers in bunches on the ends of stems.
Photo credit: Mike Wilcox

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Shrub < 2 m tall. Leaves are <9mm long. Flowers are small, pink/red, and are borne in bunches in August – December.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2021, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell berry heath within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant berry heath within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any berry heath on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Scrubland, roadsides, banks, gumlands, coastal cliffs.


Seeds dispersed by gravity. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste, soil movement and deliberate plantings.

Impact on environment

Competes with native early successional species such as mānuka and is advantaged by fire. Potential to dominate frequently disturbed sites.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel.

Basic Growsafe certified: Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Berry heath bush with pink small flowers at the tip.
Its upper branches are covered in fine, upward-pointing, light green needle-like leaves.
Photo credit: Andrew Massyn
Photo showing the whole Berry Heath shrub.
Flowers are borne in bunches in August – December.
Photo credit: Phil Bendle -