Calluna vulgaris

Heather, photo Jussi Helimäki

Heathers grow in moorlands, heath forests, and bogs, where there is a lot of light. They prefer to grow in moorlands and bogs. They are rather resistant to forest fires and are one of the first plants to grow on burnt woodlands.

Heather grows in bundles, which means that their habitat is densely filled with heather, which makes moving around there difficult. They grow up to 20–50 cm in height. The stem has many rising branches, which grow off from the stem. The flowers are pink or light purple, with decompound flower covers, and they grow by four. They can be seen in cluster-like swirls near the leaves of the upper sprouts.

Heather fruit is an egg-like capsule, covered in low hair, which contains small round seeds. The fruit is ripe in September. One group of heather can produce up to 90,000 seeds.

Herbal medicine uses heather to make tea. Heather tea has a calming effect, which helps people fall asleep. It is also used against rheumatism and to dissolve kidney stones and gallstones. Heather is an excellent plant to make honey. Heather honey has a slightly bitter taste. The common heather is the national flower of Norway.