Heather – Heath
The American finds it almost unholy to write of Heather because his remarks may be read by a Scotchman who might wonder by what right an American obtained permission to discuss these bonny plants. There are a number of sorts of Heathers which may be grown in the northern United States, but many of the European sorts are not hardy enough. Lovers of Heather might easily grow it if they but knew the sorts to grow. The following sorts are seen thriving in our country:
Calluna vulgaris, the true Scotch Heather, has tiny purple flowers and grows 12 inches to 18 inches tall. It blooms late in August and remains in bloom until Fall. There is also a white variety. C. crispa is an excellent sort with pinkish lavender flowers.
Erica carnea has pink flowers and is one of the most popular sorts in America. The plants grow 6 inches tall and bloom in April or May.
Erica stricla, the Corsican Heath, seldom attains a height of 2 feet and has stiff, upright branches. The flowers are rosy purple appearing in August.
Menziesia polifolia, the Irish Heath, has small, oval, dark green leaves and long spikes of large, drooping, white or bright rose bells. It blooms from July to September. The plants attain a height of 6 inches.
Bruckenthalia spiculifolia is found fisted in some catalogs. It grows 5 inches to 8 inches tall, has heath-like, light pink flowers produced in early June.
UTILIZE. Besides their sentiment and interest, the Heaths are extremely dainty for use in the border or rock garden. They are especially at home as an undergrowth for Rhododendron beds. They may be cut, and when placed in vases, will last for weeks.
GENERAL. The various Heaths prefer a soil compounded of peat or leafmold. They prefer plenty of moisture in Summer but the soil must be perfectly drained. Our weather conditions are not ideal, due to our hot, dry Summers
PROPAGATION. The propagation of the Heathers is rather difficult for the amateur. It is best to purchase plants from the dealer.