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Erica calluna

The heather that is not Erica

If in your garden you wanted to create a corner that remains in bloom even in winter, or a border with bright colors, you could think of adopting a heather plant. The genus Erica belongs to the Ericaceae family and includes a very large number of species, often very different from each other, although with similar characteristics. However, within the family there is also a specimen of a different genus, and it is the Calluna vulgaris. Morphologically, the main difference between heather calluna and other heather species lies in the number of petals of the flower. four for the calluna, five for the heather. The name callunacomes from the Greek, and means to sweep, because in ancient times the branches of this plant were used to make brooms. The name by which it is most commonly indicated in Italy is brugo.

The characteristics of the heather calluna


The heather calluna grows spontaneously in the northern moors, but in Italy it can be found very widely in nature in the driest and coldest areas of the Alps and the Apennines. Like other plants of the Ericaceae family, among the Nordic populations this plant has many well-wishing symbolic meanings; moreover, it is also used for the medicinal virtues it possesses, capable of treating intestinal and urinary tract infections. The heather calluna looks like a small shrub that reaches a maximum of fifty centimeters in height. Its branches are covered with needle-like leaves, and in the period from the end of summer to the month of November it produces small mauve-colored flowers, more rarely pink, which are gathered in very pretty spikes to be seen. It is usually used as food by herbivorous wild animals,


heather calluna plant” width=”745″ height=”559″ longdesc=”/giardino/piante-perenni/erica-calluna.asp”>Due to its ornamental appearance, due to the abundant winter flowering, more and more often even in our latitudes we choose to cultivate the heather calluna in the garden. This species also has the advantage of being very resistant, and requiring very little care; moreover, by alternating it with other species of heather that bloom at other times, it will be possible to create a corner that is always full of corollas. The heather calluna is purchased in seedlings, which must be planted in a soil with an acid pH, and well draining. In fact, what heather calluna is most concerned about are excesses and stagnation of water. In the same way, however, the excessive lack of water is also lethal, so care must be taken that the soil is always wet, even during the vegetative period, or in the absence of flowering.

Erica calluna: How to cure heather calluna


The water that must be used to water the heather calluna should always be non-calcareous, because the limestone, in the long run, could damage its roots. As for the ideal temperature, the heather resists the cold well, but not frosts: it should not be planted outside in places where temperatures can drop below 5 degrees in winter. At the end of flowering, the heather calluna should be pruned, eliminating the dead parts, without delaying much, because the new buds appear very soon, and you could risk removing them together with the dry branches. The heather calluna can also be grown in pots, to keep it on the balcony, and have a bright patch of color even in winter. Repotting, when it becomes necessary because the bush begins to be too large, should be done in spring,

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