Calluna vulgaris

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Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull

Ericaceae

Life form: shrub
Usage: economic plant / Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   6

Moisture: dry bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sand - Soil: sandy loam - Soil: peat

Arrangement: decussate
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: linear

Division: simple

Shape: campanulate
Fruit: septicidal capsule

70B / 9e2970 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: single
Habit: nodding

Growth form: clump-forming

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Dilleniidae
Superordo:
Ericanae
Ordo:
Ericales

Calluna vulgaris, commonly known as Scots heather, link, is a shrub.

Naming

Calluna vulgaris was already described and the name validly published by Carl Linnaeus. It was John Hull, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1808.

Taxonomy

Calluna vulgaris is the only species in the genus Calluna which belongs to the family of the Ericaceae (Heath Family).

Characteristics

Growth

The shrubs are comparatively slow-growing and reach heights of 10 to 60 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 0.6 to 1 metres.

Wood and Bark

Leaves

Calluna vulgaris is evergreen. The green, simple leaves are decussate. They are linear, entire and sessile.

Flowers and Fruits

Calluna vulgaris produces racemes of nodding, dark-purple campanulate flowers from August to October. The plants are hermaphroditic.

The shrubs carry brown septicidal capsules that are both edible and ornamental.

Root System

The plants form fibrous roots.

Distribution

Calluna vulgaris is native to the whole of Europe, North Turkey, the Azores and Morocco and is naturalized in North America.

Cultivation

The shrubs prefer a sunny situation on dry to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy, sandy-loamy or peaty soil with a pH between 4,5 and 6,5. They tolerate temperatures down to -23°C (USDA zone 6).

Uses

Suited as cemetery plant, groundcover, container plant and as bee pasture.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.


Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Fine webs on the plants indicate an infestation with red spider mites. These sap-sucking insects mainly appear under glass and can be controlled either with insecticide or biologically with parasitic mites.

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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