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PHYLLODOCE caerulea

Image of Phyllodoce caerulea

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

PHYLLODOCE caerulea

Plant Common Name

Mountain Heath

General Description

Having fine, dark-green foliage like that of heathers (Erica), blue heath blooms in spring and summer with drooping, urn-shaped flowers that are pinkish-violet. A small evergreen shrub, it is considered an alpine or subarctic species, native to northern Europe and Asia, as well as pockets of northern North America. Such a natural distribution is called circumboreal, as it encircles the North Pole.

The branches are short, upright, and densely lined with dark-green, leathery and linear leaves. Each has fine teeth and a downy underside. In late spring and into summer, small violet-pink flowers occur singly or in clusters on the branch tips. The flower is pitcher-shaped and dangles downward.

Grow mountain heath in an acidic soil that is rich in organic matter and is moist to well-drained. Appreciating cool temperatures and protection from intense sunrays, it is often grown in partial sun to partially shaded areas, unless in very chilly summer temperatures. Grow it in an alpine trough, a rockery or in a cool alpine greenhouse in regions too warm for it to prosper outdoors.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    5 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 5

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6"-9" / 15.2cm - 22.9cm

  • Width

    9"-12" / 22.9cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    North America, Alaska, Canada, Europe, Northern Europe, Russia/Siberia, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Groundcover, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No