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Calluna vulgaris
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

heather

C. vulgaris has narrow, linear, small, evergreen leaves. Spikes of urn-shaped pink or pale purple flowers which are either single or double are borne from mid-summer to autumn. Plants reach around 60cm in height. Many cultivars have been both selected and bred

Other common names
basam
bassum
see morebeesom
besom
ling
Scotch heather
Scots heather
Scottish heather
white heather
Synonyms
Erica vulgaris
Calluna erica

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn Purple Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Ericaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Calluna are low-growing or dwarf evergreen shrubs with stems clothed in tiny overlapping leaves, and terminal, spike-like racemes of small, 4-petalled flowers with coloured calyces

Name status

Correct

Plant range
N N Am., N Eurasia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained acidic soil in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed in spring, or propagate by softwood cuttings, division or layering in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Rock garden
  • Coastal
  • Wildlife gardens
Pruning

Pruning group 10. Shear off old flowering stems after flowering

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

May be subject to fungal diseases and root diseases, especially in warmer locations

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