Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Ericales > Ericaceae > Calluna > Calluna vulgaris

Calluna vulgaris (heather)


Wikipedia Abstract

Calluna vulgaris (known as common heather, ling, or simply heather) is the sole species in the genus Calluna in the family Ericaceae. It is a low-growing perennial shrub growing to 20 to 50 centimetres (7.9 to 19.7 in) tall, or rarely to 1 metre (39 in) and taller, and is found widely in Europe and Asia Minor on acidic soils in open sunny situations and in moderate shade. It is the dominant plant in most heathland and moorland in Europe, and in some bog vegetation and acidic pine and oak woodland. It is tolerant of grazing and regenerates following occasional burning, and is often managed in nature reserves and grouse moors by sheep or cattle grazing, and also by light burning.
View Wikipedia Record: Calluna vulgaris

Invasive Species

Heather, Calluna vulgaris native to Africa, temperate Asia and Europe is an invasive weed in its introduced range in Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand. It has also been reported in the sub-Antarctic islands of Falklands and the Crozet Archipelago. Impacts include displacement of native species both plants and insects, and disruption of natural processes of plant regeneration and succession in tussock and shrub lands. Its seeds are known to remain viable in the soil for over 33 years.
View ISSG Record: Calluna vulgaris


Allergen Potential [1]  Medium
Dispersal Mode [5]  Anemochory
Edible [2]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Flower Type [2]  Hermaphrodite
Leaf Type [2]  Evergreen
Lifespan [3]  Perennial
Pollinators [2]  Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera, Wind
Structure [2]  Shrub
Usage [2]  The branches have many uses, including in thatching, as a bedding or a stuffing for mattresses, for insulation, basketry, rope making and for making brooms; The dried branches are a good fuel; The rootstock can be made into musical pipes; A yellow dye is obtained from the plant; The bark is a source of tannin; Heather can be grown as a low hedge and is quite useful as an edging to beds. It is fairly amenable to trimming; A useful ground cover plant for covering dry banks; The cultivar 'White Lawn' has been recommended; All except the very dwarf cultivars will need trimming each spring in order to keep them compact;
Height [2]  24 inches (0.6 m)
Width [2]  20 inches (0.5 m)
Light Preference [4]  Mostly Sunny
Soil Acidity [4]  Very Acid
Soil Fertility [4]  Infertile
Soil Moisture [4]  Moist
View Plants For A Future Record : Calluna vulgaris

Protected Areas






North America;

External References

USDA Plant Profile



Attributes / relations provided by
1Derived from Allergy-Free Gardening OPALS™, Thomas Leo Ogren (2000)
2Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
3PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish Plants: Status, Size, Life History, Geography and Habitats, M. O. Hill, C. D. Preston & D. B. Roy, Biological Records Centre, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2004)
4ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
5Paula S, Arianoutsou M, Kazanis D, Tavsanoglu Ç, Lloret F, Buhk C, Ojeda F, Luna B, Moreno JM, Rodrigo A, Espelta JM, Palacio S, Fernández-Santos B, Fernandes PM, and Pausas JG. 2009. Fire-related traits for plant species of the Mediterranean Basin. Ecology 90: 1420.
Paula S. & Pausas J.G. 2013. BROT: a plant trait database for Mediterranean Basin species. Version 2013.06.
6Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
7HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
8Ecology of Commanster
9Food eaten by the free-living European bison in Białowieża Forest, Zofia GĘBCZYŃSKA, Marek GĘBCZYŃSKI and Ewa MARTYNOWICZ, Acta Theriologica 36 (3-4), 307-313, 1991.
10Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
11Ben-Dov, Y., Miller, D.R. & Gibson, G.A.P. ScaleNet 4 November 2009
12Dama dama, George A. Feldhamer, Kelly C. Farris-Renner, and Celeste M. Barker, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 317, pp. 1-8 (1988)
13New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database
Protected Areas provided by Ramsar Sites Information Service
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License