Calluna vulgaris

Scientific name: Calluna vulgaris

Synonyms: Calluna erica , Erica vulgaris


Common names: “Ling heather” “Scotch heather”

Plant Type: Evergreen shrub


Zone: 4-7

Light: Full sun – part shade

Exposure: Exposed or sheltered

Soil: Moderately fertile acidic soil

Moisture: Good evenly moist well drained, can be drought tolerant once established but will not sustain long dry periods


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Plant Size: H 6″-18″ W 14″-48″

Leaf and Stem shape:  Narrow, linear, small, evergreen leaves

Flower: Spikes of urn-shaped pink or pale purple flowers which are either single or double are borne from mid-summer to autumnImage result for calluna vulgaris

Pruning: Requires yearly trimming after bloom, cut just below old flowers leaving at least 1″ of green, only prune to shape, don’t cut into old wood, if pruned too late you might loose the spring colour, must be done immediately after bloom

Maintenance: Medium, when planting soak root ball thoroughly, cut off any root bound bits and plant a little deep, hates being limed, and can be seriously damaged by fertilizer, in the case of a very leggy bush it can be rejuvenated by digging it out and burying it all very deep with just the newest growth showing

Landscape use: Wildlife garden, rock garden

Propagate: By seed, cuttings, division and layering

Pests & Disease: Generally pest free

*Deer resistant, but they have been known to pull them out of the ground

Comments: A lot of places say to use pete moss when planting but it’s not necessary on the island as our soil is acidic enough

Cultivars: C. v. ‘Colette’ – Crimson flowers with lime green foliage turning red in winter

C. v. ‘Firefly’ – Deep mauve flowers with orange foliage turning re in winter

C. v. ‘Hoyerhagen’ – Crimson flowers with orange gold foliage turning deeper colours

C. v. ‘Kinlochruel’ – Double white flowers with bright green foliage

~AGM winning cvs.: C. v. ‘Sister Anne’ ,  C. v. ‘Spring Cream’ ,  C. v. ‘Robert Chapman’ ,  C. v. ‘Elsie Purnell’ ,  C. v. ‘Dark Beauty’ ,  C. v. ‘Peter Sparkes’ ,  C. v. ‘Kinlochruel’ ,  C. v. ‘Darkness’ ,  C. v. ‘Firefly’ ,  C. v. ‘Kerstin’ ,  C. v. ‘Dark Star’ ,  C. v. ‘Velvet Fascination’ ,  C. v. ‘Beoley Gold’ ,  C. v. ‘Annemarie’ ,  C. v. ‘Wickwar Flame’ ,  C. v. ‘Tib’

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