The Heather Garden
Woodlands. Wimborne
Dorset. BH21 8LJ
 01202 824387
The Heather Specialists

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Erica cinerea


Erica cinerea ‘Goldilocks’

Erica cinerea is a Summer flowering heather and one of the four common species found growing on the heathlands in the UK. It is often to be found growing alongside Calluna vulgaris and is native to the UK and Iberian Peninsula.

It grows well on the lighter acidic soils, disliking lime.

Its natural native flower colour is purple but there are numerous varieties with flower colours ranging from white through pink to red. Height can vary from 15cm (Alba Minor, Eden Valley ) to 30 cm (Lilac Time , My Love) although the taller varieties can (and should) be trimmed annually after flowering to keep them compact and bushy. Some varieties have a more sprawling habit (Purple Beauty) whilst other are bushy and upright. At the nursery we are cultivating an unusual trailing wild form found on a visit to the Island of Lundy.

The foliage colour is also variable with cultivars each having shades of green/bronze or golden, many of the yellow/orange foliage cultivars e.g Golden Drop, Golden Hue , will turn deeper orange when exposed to cold Winter conditions.

A naturally occurring variation are plants whereby the flowers are malformed and known as Wheatear varieties or schizopetalus ( Sandford Heritage), These have little benefit in the garden but are of botanical interest.


Erica cinerea requires an acid soil for it to grow successfully although it can be grown in containers or in beds using an acid or ericaceous compost isolated from the ground soil.

The texture of heavy (clay) soils can be improved by the addition of peat and/or coarse grit

Trim to base of flowering spike after flowering.

Ensure the plants are kept moist during the first year of planting and in dry conditions.

For best results feed sparingly in Spring and early Summer with a general fertiliser.

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