Calluna vulgaris

(Photo by Heather Castleberry)

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Taxonomy (1)

Classification: Angiosperm, dicot
Family: Ericaceae
Common name: Heather

General Information (1,2)

Region of Origin: Europe and Asia Minor
USDA Plants Hardiness Zones: 4-6
Growth Habit: Shrub

  • Size: 2 inches to 2 feet
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
  • Flowering: July to September
  • Fruiting: October

Diagnostic Characteristics

Leaves (1,2)

  • Arrangement: Opposite
  • Simple/Compound: Simple
  • Shape: Oblong to ovate
  • Other: 1/25 to 1/8 inch

(Photo by Heather Castleberry)

Flower (1,2)

  • Perfect/Imperfect: Perfect
  • Color: Purplish-pink
  • Size: 0.25 inch
  • Inflorescence type: Raceme

(Photo by Heather Castleberry)

Fruit (1,2)

  • Fruit type: Capsule
  • Size: 1/10 inch

Horticultural Information (1,2)

  • Light: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil type: Sandy
  • pH: Acidic
  • Maintenance: Easy to care for
  • Landscape Uses: Groundcover, edges, rock gardens


1) Dirr, M. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their identification, ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses. 4th Ed. (1975). Stipes Publishing Company.
2) Heather Calluna vulgaris. Queensland Government. Fact sheet. (2011).

Prepared by Heather Castleberry as a course requirement for BIOL 3630/5630, Spring 2013
Edited by Jessica Bartek