Bell Heather II / Erica cinerea

Erica cinerea ‘Knap Hill Pink’ (syn. ‘Knapp Hill Pink’) – This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner features intensely bright magenta-pink bell flowers that almost look artificial. These are borne from June through to September and are sharply contrasted by the deep green needled evergreen foliage. Fairly compact at 12″ high and 24″ wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Erica cinerea ‘Golden Sport’ -I would buy this heather as much for the foliage as the flowers, which are a lovely amethyst-purple produced from June to September. The deep gold foliage has a hint of orange, almost verging on amber and takes on reddish-orange tones in winter. Prefers a part to full sun exposure with good soil drainage. Grows 8-12″ high by 12-15″ wide. Zone 6.

Erica cinerea ‘Velvet Night’ – A perfect plant for the goth gardener, as the deep beetroot coloured bell flowers are nearly black and the darkest of any bell heather. The blooms are carried from June to September against deep green foliage. This species was traditionally used in bundles for thatch roofs and brooms. AGM. Grows 10″ high by 24″ wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Erica cinerea ‘Lime Soda’ – Another RHS Award of Garden Merit winner with soft lavender to mauve-pink flowers nicely contrasted by yellowish-green to lime foliage. Like all bell heathers, it should be lightly trimmed after flowering to remove the spent blooms and keep a dense foliage canopy. This medium-sized shrub grows 12″ high by 22″ wide. Zone 6.

Erica cinerea ‘Buckleberry Red’ – The best of the red Erica cinerea with prolific ruby-red flowers from July to August, nicely contrasted by dark green foliage. Due to its compact nature ‘Buckleberry Red’ makes a good flowering groundcover, but must be planted close enough to deter weeds. The species is native to western and central Europe. Grows 6″ high by 18″. Zone 6.

 

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