Latin Names : Erica carnea

            Calluna vulgaris

             Daboecia cantabrica

Let me make it very clear from the outset that there are thousands of different cultivars out there. However, in the most part they are drawn from 3 different Genera.

These are Erica carnea

Calluna vulgaris

and Daboecia cantabrica

I shall introduce you to them in the same order as appears above. 

So this is Erica carnea.

Erica carnea is predominantly a winter flowering heath that can’t tolerate lime soil. It is possible to find some forms flowering in almost all months of the year. Generally, most have flowers which are evident from November till March. The image above is of ‘Springwood Pink’, a plant that has been around for many years.

… and this is the well known ‘Springwood White’.

Next we move on to Calluna vulgaris, Heather or Ling.

This will be familiar to you as being the Heather that colours the Highlands of the North, and the Downs of the South with those remarkable drifts of Purple.

As this image of Calluna vulgaris ‘Zora’ demonstrates so well, the foliage of Callunas have a tendency to ‘colour’ in the winter, but some do it all year round.

Finally, the last example is Daboecia cantabrica, the Irish or ‘Connemara Heath’.

With a significantly larger flower, but with the same restrains of hating lime soils, it has a charm of its own. It flowers from June to November, and creates a different effect than the previous two Heathers.

… and this is Daboecia cantabrica ‘Alba’