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Flower  Heather

Heather - Photo  Copyright 2001 Gary Bradley Photo: G. Bradley

Latin name: Calluna vulgaris

Size: Grows to a height of around 50cms.

Distribution: Found throughout the UK.

Flowering months: August to September.

Habitat: Found on heaths and moors. It prefers sandy soils.

Special features: This is the commonest of the evergreen members of the heath family of plants. The leaves of the plant grow in overlapping pairs.

The flowers of heather are much favoured by bee keepers, as the honey produced is thick and dark, and normally contains more minerals than lighter honey. The honey is so thick it has to be squeezed out of the combs. This process destroys the valuable wax combs, and for this reason the honey commands a higher price.

The young shoots of the heather plant are the main food of red grouse, and gamekeepers burn away the old plants at regular intervals to ensure plenty of fresh new growth.

Did You Know?
Occasionally white forms of heather occur in the wild. Gypsies believe that carrying a sprig of this white heather brings good luck.

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