Calluna - Cultivation


Despised until the 19th century for its associations with the most rugged rural poverty, heather's growth in popularity may be paralleled with the vogue for alpine plants. It is a very popular ornamental plant in gardens and for landscaping, in lime-free areas where it will thrive, but has defeated many a gardener on less acid soil. There are many named cultivars, selected for variation in flower colour and for different foliage colour and growing habits.

Different cultivars have flower colours ranging from white, through pink and a wide range of purples, and including reds. The flowering season with different cultivars extends from late July to November in the northern hemisphere. The flowers may turn brown but still remain on the plants over winter, and this can lead to interesting decorative effects.

Cultivars with ornamental foliage are usually selected for reddish and golden leaf colour. A few forms can be silvery grey. Many of the ornamental foliage forms change colour with the onset of winter weather, usually increasing in intensity of colour. Some forms are grown for distinctive young spring foliage. Cultivars include ‘Beoley Crimson’ (Crimson red), ‘Boskoop’ (light purple), ‘Cuprea’ (copper), 'Firefly' (deep mauve),‘Long White’ (white).

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • 'Alexandra' (Garden Girls series)
  • 'Alicia' (Garden Girls series)
  • 'Allegro'
  • 'Annette' (Garden Girls series)
  • 'Anne Marie'
  • 'Anthony Davis'
  • 'Beoley Gold'
  • 'Dark Beauty'
  • 'Dark Star'
  • 'Darkness'
  • 'Elsie Purnell'
  • 'Firefly'
  • 'Joy Vanstone'
  • 'Kerstin'
  • 'Kinlochruel'
  • 'Mair's Variety'
  • 'Mullion'
  • 'My Dream'
  • 'Peter Sparkes'
  • 'Radnor'
  • 'Robert Chapman'
  • 'Roland Haagen'
  • 'Serlei Aurea'
  • 'Silver Rose'
  • 'Sir John Charrington'
  • 'Sister Anne'
  • 'Spring Cream'
  • 'Sunset'
  • 'Tib'
  • 'Wickwar Flame'

Read more about this topic:  Calluna

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