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see heathheath,
in botany, common name for some members of the Ericaceae, a family of chiefly evergreen shrubs with berry or capsule fruits. Plants of the heath family form the characteristic vegetation of many regions with acid soils, particularly the moors, swamps, and mountain slopes
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, in botany.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Calluna), a genus of plants of the family Ericaceae, represented by only one species (C. vulgaris). A low evergreen shrub, usually 30-70 cm high, it has numerous small, sessile, almost trihedral leaves that are tegularly arranged in four layers. The flowers are also small and numerous on young branches in more or less unilateral racemes; the corolla is lilac pinkish, sometimes white, shorter than the bright, laminated calyx, which is colored like the corolla.

Heather grows in pine forests, in burned-out forests, and in peat bogs, often forming dense thickets. It is found in Europe, predominantly in the northern half, Asia (mainly in the western portion), North Africa (Morocco), the Azores, Greenland, and the Atlantic coast of America. Heather is a good nectar-bearer but gives a tart, or even bitter, honey; it had fodder value, especially in the Atlantic countries of Western Europe. Flowering branches are used as winter bouquets. Sometimes representatives of the genus Erica are also called heather.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Calluna vulgaris. An evergreen heath of northern and alpine regions distinguished by racemes of small purple-pink flowers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. a low-growing evergreen Eurasian ericaceous shrub, Calluna vulgaris, that grows in dense masses on open ground and has clusters of small bell-shaped typically pinkish-purple flowers
2. any of certain similar plants
3. a purplish-red to pinkish-purple colour
4. of or relating to interwoven yarns of mixed colours
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
A heather bed is also more easily maintained than individual plants, trimming annually after the first year for the sake of health and tidiness.
Summer-flowering heather is trimmed in early March with sharp shears to remove the flowered growth, cutting no lower than the base of the flowering spike.
Heather said the industry had changed a great deal in the past 21 years - with more hairdressers opting for self-employment and working from existing salons rather than employing staff.
Heather is in no doubt about the reason for her success.
HEATHER: It's down the hall and to your left--at the end of the hall there.
Heather stands for a long moment in the middle of the room.
For a man who thrives on high pressure and likes the odd warm front, Heather would have been a ray of sunshine on Robin's rainy days.
Robin would need to stand on the Front Bench just to kiss 5 ft 9 ins tall Heather.
Since heathers thrive in poor soil - and Thompson's soil is sandy - compost alone nourishes his plants; it's mixed into the soil at planting time.
Neutral or slightly alkaline soils can be improved by adding peat, leaf-mould and leafy compost to create an area for heathers even when the rest of the garden is not entirely suitable.
Heather's doing remarkably well given the circumstances.
Contrary to popular belief, however, heathers do not need a sloping site, preferring instead an almost flat surface, which means that they should be suited to most gardens although the numerous varieties do share a common dislike - lime.