Common Names: Heather, Scotch Heather, Common Heather, Erica Heather, Winter Heather
Botanical names: Erica spp. and Calluna spp.
Availability: Fall, Spring and Winter
Vase life: 7 to 14 days
Storage temperatures: 34 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ethylene Sensitive: Yes
Description: Woody stems with small close leaves and feathery spikes of tiny bell shaped flowers.
Color: Pink, Red. Purple and White.
Botanical facts: Heather is a woody shrub and drys well. Common relatives include rhododendron, azalea and blueberry.
Design notes: Heather can add soft texture and movement to a design. It can also be manipulated into distinctive shapes.
Purchasing hints: Look for turgid flexible stems with flowers just beginning to open and some buds. Avoid specimens with shedding blossoms.
Conditioning: Remove all foliage that will be below the water line. Break two inches off of the stem ends with. Hydrate in a solution of water and commercial floral food for two hours before storage or usage.
Additional notes: Calluna is Greek; to sweep as the branches are sometimes used as brooms. Erica is Greek from “ereike” (heather) and “ereiko” (to break), an infusion from the leaves was reputed to break bladder stones. These two genera are often confused. The main way to tell them apart is that with Erica, the calyx (outer part of flowers consisting of the sepals) is shorter than the corolla (inner circle of flower consisting of the petals) whereas with Calluna, the calyx is longer than the corolla.