Common Names: Erica, Heather

Botanical names: Erica, (AIR-i-kah)

Availability: November through April

Vase life: 7 to 21 days

Storage temperatures: 36 - 38 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: A heath-like shrub with thick clusters of tiny bell-shaped florets.

Color: Pink, rose, white, lavender

Botanical facts: Numerous cultivars and hybrids make up the heath (Ericaceae) family.

Design notes: Wonderful filler or accent flower. Tall varieties can be used as line material. Tall varieties can also be formed into shapes and basket handles.

Purchasing hints: Purchase heather with 3/4 of the buds open. The stems should be supple and the foliage turgid. Avoid heather in which the blossoms or the foliage is shattering.

Conditioning: Remove all foliage that will be below the water line. Give the woody stem a fresh break or cut. Hydrate in a solution of warm water and commercial floral preservative / floral food for two hours before storage or usage. Do not pack heather tightly in storage buckets. Air circulation is needed to avoid the formation of mold.

Additional notes: Water stress will cause the blossoms to shatter. Heather can be dried. Dried heather blossoms shatter easily and a fixative spray should be used to reduce shattering.