Erica cinerea   Bell Heather CC DD N

Erica cinerea whole Erica cinerea close

Of the three common UK heathers Calluna vulgaris (Ling or Heather), Erica tetralix (Cross-leaved Heath) and Erica cinerea (Bell Heather) this is the most spectacular. It is earlier flowering than the other two - you can see some flowers in mid Spring but dwelling on the attractive flowers of an individual isn't the major effect this plant has. See the side of a hill covered in this stunning purple and you will know what I mean. This Heather wasn't uncommon on the sandstone of Cheshire but is much reduced because people take it for their gardens.

E. cinerea is found in most hilly parts of northern England, much of Ireland, all of Scotland and all of Wales and so is less common in the flatter, neutral or basic soils of southern central England.

Cwm Idwal 25th July 2002

Added on December 10th 2004, updated 3rd January 2009, updated 29th March 2010

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