Heather is a bushy evergreen plant that belongs to the heath family and are native to Western Europe, Siberia and North America. Its scientific name Calluna vulgaris is from the Greek word kallune, which means “to clean” or “to brush.”
It’s a reference to how heather was used to make brooms in the past. The plant has also been used for painting of wool. It’s currently used in making shampoos, lotions, baths, perfumes, beddings, pillow stuffing, ropes, baskets, packaging materials, honey and as flavoring agent for beer, wine and tea.
Heather starts producing flowers in its 3rd to 4th year until its 15th year before it becomes woody.
Anne Sparks (Erica carnea)
With bronze-red foliage and stunning pink flowers, it grows up to six inches high and blooms from January to May.
Bell’s Extra Special (Erica carnea)
This heather has heliotrope flowers and foliage that is whiskey colored, and it blooms from January to May. It also grows up to six inches in height.
C.D. Eason (Erica cinerea)
A type of Bell Heather, the C.D. Eason has beautiful, bright-magenta petals that bloom from late-spring to early-fall and grow up to 10 inches tall and 2 feet in width. Its dark-green foliage looks magnificent next to its blooms, and this is but one of the many reasons it has won so many international flower awards.
Generally pest-free, this type of heather looks great in rock gardens, slopes, and groundcovers, and it is also very easy to grow. It does best in full sun and moist soil that is well-drained.
Carnea Aurea (Erica carnea)
This one blooms from January to April, gets up to six inches in height, and has gold foliage with pale-pink flowers.
Cecelia M. Beale (Erica carnea)
With beautiful white flowers, this heather blooms from January to April and grows up to six inches high.
Challenger (Erica carnea)
This heather has compact bright-red blooms, grows to six inches high, and blooms from January to April.
Dark Beauty (Calluna vulgaris)
The winner of several international flower awards, the Dark Beauty boasts profuse dark-cerise semi-double flowers that deepen to ruby-red with age and last for a very long time in late-summer and early-fall.
They grow 8 inches high and 14 inches wide, and they are easy to grow and low-maintenance. Butterflies and hummingbirds love them, and they have dark-green evergreen foliage that complements the petals perfectly.
They do best in full sun and well-drained soils, and they have a compact, upright habit.
December Red (Erica carnea)
A beautiful plant with pink and lilac flowers, it gets up to six inches or more in height and blooms from December to March.
Eileen Porter (Erica carnea)
A striking plant that blooms from October to April, it grows up to six inches high and has rich carmine-colored flowers.
Firefly (Calluna vulgaris)
Also known as the Scottish Heather, this plant consists of deep-mauve petals and is one of the showiest types of heather plants. It has won several international flower awards and it grows up to 20 inches in height.
The color of the flowers changes throughout the year from chartreuse and yellow in the spring to orange and red in early-fall, finally turning to a glowing brick-red in the winter. It is a stunning flower that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, and it looks great in vases and containers.
Foxhollow (Erica carnea)
With golden-colored foliage that gets deeper in winter, its petals are pink and bell-shaped, and it blooms from January to April.
Golden Starlet (Erica carnea)
The Golden Starlet has white flowers, golden foliage, and it blooms from December to March. It can also grow up to eight inches high.
Ice Princess (Erica carnea)
With beautiful white blooms that stand upright and tall, this flower blooms from February to April and grows to six inches high.
Isabelle (Erica carnea)
The Isabelle consists of white blooms that appear from December to May, and it grows six to eight inches tall.
James Backhouse (Erica carnea)
With large lavender flowers, this variety blooms from December to April and grows up to six inches in height.
Jana (Calluna vulgaris)
This flower consists of beautiful dark-pink blooms that look beautiful clustered together and have bright-green foliage that complements the blooms perfectly. They bloom profusely and the type of soil recommended changes depending on when you want to plant them.
If you choose flowers that bloom in winter or spring, acidic or slightly alkaline soil works best, whereas it is best to choose a lime-free acidic soil when you want something that is going to bloom in the summer months.
Jennifer Anne (Erica carnea)
This one has pink flowers that get darker as it ages, and it blooms from November to April.
John Kampa (Erica carnea)
The John Kampa has flowers in a rose-pink color and blooms from February to April. It can grow up to six inches high during this timeframe.
King George (Erica carnea)
This flower has deep-pink blooms that are truly stunning, and they bloom from December to April. It also grows over eight inches in height.
Loughrigg (Erica carnea)
The Loughrigg blooms from January to May and consists of open pink flowers. It grows up to six inches high, many times shorter.
March Seedling (Erica carnea)
Growing a little taller than many other heather plants, it can reach up to 10 inches high and has soft-pink flowers. It blooms from January to May.
Myretoun Ruby (Erica carnea)
This flower has deep-heliotrope flowers that bloom from January to May and grow up to eight inches high.
Natalie (Erica carnea)
With beautiful dark-pink-red flowers and a height of up to 10 inches, this is an elegant flower that blooms from January to April.
Orient (Erica carnea)
The Orient grows up to six inches high and has beautiful lilac-pink flowers. It blooms from February to April and looks stunning.
Phoebe (Erica x darleyensis)
Its blooms are the perfect shade of pink, and its bell-shaped flowers have dark tips that perfectly complement the pink of the petals. It is an easy-to-grow flower that requires little maintenance, and it is loved by butterflies and birds.
Pink Ice (Erica cinerea)
Pale rose-pink flowers highlight this plant, and the dwarf, low-growing shrub makes great groundcovers and edging. Once it’s established, the flower is tolerant of drought, and it handles even acidic and sandy soil very well, as long as it is well-drained.
Easy to grow and pest-free, the Pink Ice should be pruned yearly so it doesn’t lose its shape, and it will continue to stand out and catch people’s attention as long as it stays out of windy conditions. It also looks great in coastal or cottage gardens, as well as containers and vases.
Pink Spangle (Erica carnea)
This one has flowers that are shell-pink in color and grow up to eight inches high. It blooms from January to May.
Pink Star (Erica tetralix)
These have clusters of bell-shaped soft to medium-pink blooms and a grey-green set of leaves. They bloom from late-spring to early-fall and are quite eye-catching. Hardy to zone five and warmer, they prefer well-drained but moist soil and full sun or partial shade.
Pirbright Rose (Erica carnea)
With flowers of lilac-pink and a height of up to eight inches, these plants are simply elegant and bloom from December to February.
Praecox Ruby (Erica carnea)
This plant has flowers that are deep-lilac-pink in color and grow up to 10 inches high, making them quite eye-catching. They bloom from November to May, enjoying a long blooming time.
Prince of Wales (Erica carnea)
This variety of heather has shell-pink flowers and blooms from November to April. They also grow up to eight inches in height, making them very noticeable.
Queen Mary (Erica carnea)
The Queen Mary blooms from December to March and has flowers that are deep-pink in color. It also grows up to eight inches in height.
R.B. Cook (Erica carnea)
Growing up to eight inches high, this plant has large flowers of a lavender color and blooms from December to April.
Red Jewel (Erica carnea)
At a height of only six inches, it is still an extraordinary-looking plant and has flowers that are beet-red in color, which perfectly complement its reddish foliage.
Rosalie (Erica carnea)
Growing over 10 inches high, the Rosalie has soft-pink flowers and blooms from January to May.
Rosantha (Erica carnea)
With dark, rose-pink flowers and a height of up to six inches, this plant blooms from March to April only but has eye-catching blooms nonetheless.
Ruby Glow (Erica carnea)
The Ruby Glow has rich-ruby-red flowers that will catch anyone’s attention, and it blooms from January to May. It also grows up to six inches in height.
Shining Light (Erica mackayana)
Beautiful white bell-shaped blooms make this plant a unique flower to plant in your garden, and, if you plant them next to blooms with colors such as deep-purple or red, the contrast can be very striking. Pruning once a year is recommended, otherwise they are very easy to grow.
Snow Princess (Erica carnea)
This flower has blooms of pure white that show up from December to May, growing up to six inches high.
Snow Storm (Erica carnea)
Growing up to eight inches high, this plant boasts abundant white flowers, which show up from December to March.
Snowcap (Erica carnea)
Another white flower variety, this one blooms from December to May and grows up to eight inches high.
Spring Torch (Calluna vulgaris)
With bright-green leaves and petals that change colors throughout the seasons, its leaves are green with tips of pink, red, and yellow, and its petals go from mauve to bronze and even purple.
Growing up to 14 inches tall and tolerant of drought, the Spring Torch makes a perfect groundcover or edge, and it looks spectacular in vases and containers. Annual pruning is recommended for the plant to keep its shape, and it is best to keep it away from strong winds as well.
Springwood Pink (Erica carnea)
Great for groundcovers, this flower has beautiful pink flowers and grows up to 10 inches high. It blooms from December to May, so it has a long blooming period.
Springwood White (Erica carnea)
The Springwood White grows up to 10 inches high and has beautiful white blooms that show up from December to May.
Startler (Erica carnea)
With soft coral-pink flowers and a height of up to eight inches, this plant has a short blooming period and only blooms from February and March.
Summertime (Erica vagans)
With long, slender leaves and bell-shaped blooms that are medium to rose-pink in color, this is one type of heather you will certainly notice in the garden. It makes a beautiful groundcover or edging, and it is virtually pest-free. It also looks spectacular when planted next to creamy-white or white flowers.
Velvet Night (Erica cinerea)
This type of heather has beautiful, unique flowers that are deep black-purple in color, making it stand out among the other flowers in your garden. The winner of several international flower awards, this plant is spectacular when in bloom, and its dark-green foliage stays beautiful all year long.
If you prune the flowers in fall or early-spring, they will remain attractive and shapely, and their bell-shaped flowers look great in vases and containers, not to mention as groundcover or edging.
Viking (Erica carnea)
Growing up to 10 inches high, the Viking has deep-purple-red flowers that demand attention, and it blooms only in March and April.
Vivelli (Erica carnea)
This plant has foliage in a bronze-green color and flowers that are a carmine-red color. It grows up to 10 inches high and blooms from January to May.
Westwood Yellow (Erica carnea)
With yellow-gold foliage and beautiful pink flowers, this plant blooms from February to April and grows up to six inches in height.
Wintersonne (Erica carnea)
The Wintersonne has flowers that are lilac in color but darken to magenta with age. It blooms from February to May and grows up to six inches high.
Interesting Facts about Heather Plants
- In Scotland, the Heather is one of the most common and popular plants for gardeners.
- Many Swedish herbal remedies include the Heather flower.
- One of its most unique features is its foliage, which can be found in colors such as gold, yellow, silver-grey, and red, not to mention a wide variety of greens.
- Heather flowers come in pink, lavender, purple, red, amethyst, white, and magenta.
- Although similar and often thought of as the same thing, the Heather and Heath plants are actually different, with the former being an evergreen plant and the latter referring to a tract of uncultivated land.