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 centimetres (5.9–23.6 in) tall, with fine needle-like leaves 4–8 millimetres (0.16–0.31 in) long arranged in whorls of three. The flowers are bell-shaped, purple (rarely white), 4–7 millimetres (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. limestone) which cause the symptoms of iron deficiency. Like other cultivated heathers, it is often seen as groundcover amongst plantings of dwarf conifers.[2]

The following 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. Erica cinerea

External links[edit]

Media related to Erica cinerea at Wikimedia Commons