Calluna vulgaris (Alba Plena)
Calluna vulgaris ‘Alba Plena’
Scotch heather has many cultivars (cv.) such as ‘Alba Plena’, with white, double blooms. Other white-flowered forms are ‘Elegantissima’ and the robust ‘Hammondii’. Well-known pink forms are ‘Flore Pleno’ (double), ‘J. H. Hamilton’ and ‘H. E. Beale’. Dark-coloured forms grown in parks and gardens include ‘Alportii’, ‘Alportii Praecox’ (a very early form, flowering as early as March), ‘C. W. Nix’, ‘Mullion’ (very small), ‘Tib’ and ‘Peter Sparkes’. Also popular are heathers with unusually coloured foliage. ‘Aurea’ has golden-yellow leaves and violet-pink; ‘Cuprea’ has yellow leaves that turn red in the autumn and winter.
Besides its many cultivars heather has numerous other salient features: it is evergreen, is a good carpeting plant, has a long flowering period, no special requirements as to location and a great range of possible combinations with many other woody and herbaceous plants. It is very attractive, for instance, combined with heaths (ericas), provided the different times of flowering are taken into account when planting (ericas begin flowering in early spring) and the various colours of the blooms which range from white to dark red. Also attractive are combinations of heathers and low, early-flowering rhododendrons. Junipers and various dwarf conifers such as spruce are striking planted in a carpet of heather. A ground cover of heather may determine the look of a whole landscape, for example heaths with birches, junipers, or rose bushes as vertical elements. These few examples give only an idea of the many possibilities afforded by heathers in garden landscaping.