Calluna vulgaris ‘Athene’ – This Bud Bloomer was bred by Kurt Kramer of Germany and is part of the Garden Girls collection. ‘Athene’ features bright crimson-red buds (that don’t open up) which last from September to December. It is also more compact and brightly coloured than ‘Aphrodite’. Weather (rain) resistant. Grows 16″ high by 18″ wide. Hardy to zone 5.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Alicia’ – An RHS Award of Garden Merit winner that was also bred by Kurt Kramer. It features large pure white flower buds from September to November – these are nicely silhouetted by bright green foliage. Bud Bloomers can be grown in colder zone 3-4 climates, but low growing varieties should be chosen as these are covered by snow. Grows 12″ high. Zone 5.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Larissa’ – Another of the Garden Girls collection with a compact growth habit. It features bright red buds from August to October and dark green foliage. ‘Larissa’ has brighter flower buds and blooms earlier than ‘Alexandra’. Prune Bud Bloomers below the faded flowers in fall or in early spring in colder regions. Grows 12″ high by 15-18″ wide. Hardy to zone 5.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Sandy’ – This sport of ‘Melanie’ has bright gold foliage that is lime green at the base. It bears pure white buds from September to December and is not prone to scorching in the sun. This is an excellent choice for brightening alpine troughs or rock gardens. Calluna vulgaris prefers full sun with good soil drainage. Grows 15″ high by 16-20″ wide. Hardy to zone 5.
Calluna vulgaris ‘Rosita’ – Also known as Ling or Scotch heather, Bud Bloomers have flowers that do not open, so the colour lasts quite a bit longer. ‘Rosita’ features pure bubblegum pink buds that are quite similar to ‘Pink Alicia’ but a bit darker. The buds hold their colour from midsummer through to late fall. Bred by Kurt Kramer. Grows 12″ high by 16″ wide. Hardy to zone 5.