(1) Of, relating to, or belonging to Ericaceae, a taxonomic family of the order Ericales (calcifuges)
(2) Acid-loving; calcifugal; calcifugous
(3) Acidic, as in ericaceous bed
The term ericarious is used to pertain to Ericaceae, a taxonomic family belonging to order Ericales. The Ericaceae is comprised of flowering plants commonly known as the heath or heather family. The Ericaceae includes plant species such as cranberry, blueberry, huckleberry, rhododendron, common heaths and heathers. Species belonging to this taxonomic family usually have alternate or whorled leaves, hermaphrodite flowers with petals that are often fused thus forming tubular-, funnel-, or urn-shaped flowers.
These plants thrive in habitats with acidic soils. Thus, the term ericarious is also used to pertain to being acid-loving or calcifugal, or to being acidic, as in the ericaceous bed, which is a bed with acidic soil (pH ranging from 4.5 to 6). Plant species of the family Ericaceae are grown in soil within that pH as they will not tolerate alkaline or basic soil. A specialized acidic fertilizer (called ericaceous fertilizer) is also used to cultivate these plants on ericaceous bed.