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ERICA vagans

Image of Erica vagans

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

ERICA vagans

Plant Common Name

Cornish Heather

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Fine, bright green foliage may turn russet-brown in the chill of winter on Cornish heather, and summer finds tip-clusters of tiny rose, pink or white flowers. A robust, hardy, evergreen shrub with a rounded shape but with rather open branches, it is native to Ireland, England, western France and Spain. This heather is among the easiest to grow and is very popular in gardens worldwide.

Its foliage is small and needle-like, bright green and attractive on the upward-reaching stems. From midsummer to mid-fall, the branch tips are heavily lined in clusters of bell-shaped or cylindrical flowers that range from pink and rose to even white. In winter, the foliage can blush with tones of bronze and brown.

Grow Cornish heather in full to partial sun in any well-draining soil that is very acidic to neutral in pH. It is also tolerant of rocky, nutrient poor, alkaline and clay soils as long as organic matter is incorporated. Cornish heather is considered one of the most drought tolerant heather species, and thus is great massed on rocky hillsides, or as an accent in a dwarf conifer garden or alongside other heaths and heathers. Selection 'Mrs . D. F. Maxwell' and 'Birch Glow' have deep, rosy pink blossoms, while 'Lyonesse' and ' French White' have white flowers. Also with white blooms is the yellow-foliage cultivar 'Valerie Proudley'.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    3b, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Western Europe, United Kingdom

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Rose

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Bronze

  • Bark Color

    Salmon, Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No