Erica cinerea

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Erica cinerea
Bell Heather - - 493968.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Erica
Species: E. cinerea
Binomial name
Erica cinerea

Erica cinerea (bell heather, or heather-bell) is a species of flowering plant in the family Ericaceae, native to western and central Europe. It is a low, spreading shrub growing to 15–60 cm (5.9–23.6 in) tall, with fine needle-like leaves 4–8 mm (0.16–0.31 in) long arranged in whorls of three. The flowers are bell-shaped, purple (rarely white), 4–7 mm (0.16–0.28 in) long, produced in mid- to late summer. The flowers are dry, similar in texture to the strawflower.

The Latin specific epithet cinerea means "ash coloured".[1]

It is also grown as an ornamental plant, cultivated in a wider range of colors. It is drought-tolerant and grows well in full sun with well-drained soil. Like most heathers, it is a calcifuge and dislikes alkaline soils (e.g. calcareous) which cause the symptoms of iron deficiency. Like other cultivated heathers, it is often seen as groundcover amongst plantings of dwarf conifers.[2]

These cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:

  • 'C.D. Eason'[3]
  • 'Pink Ice'[4]
  • 'Velvet Night'[5]


  1. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315. 
  2. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Erica cinerea 'C.D. Eason'". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Erica cinerea 'Pink Ice'". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Erica cinerea 'Velvet Night'". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Erica cinerea at Wikimedia Commons