Delightful heather, always around somewhere, so what useful facts can I unearth?
More sheep, less heather – the sheep do love to graze and keep it in check, so where sheep numbers have declined, the heather can be rampant.
Bees love the nectar, heather honey is good stuff, and the heather bumblebee has a white bottom. Heather also used to be used to brew heather beer instead of hops, to make a yellow dye, and finally it’s used to make that very traditional looking broom, called a ‘besom’. Heather is thought to bring good luck, particularly, in Scotland, the white heather, which might be included in a bridal bouquet.
Telling heathers apart can be fun. The bell heather has plumb coloured purple flowers, which are larger than the the flowers of the ling heather ( also known as the common heather and is often the most prolific) flowers in August and September and the cross leaved heather with pink flowers, it prefers a slightly damper habitat and can be identified by the tiny leaves making sprouting from the stem in the shape of a x. Just to keep us on our toes, though, there is that rarer white flowered form of ling heather. Ha! The rare form is always the lucky one…just like that four leaved clover.