Low evergreen shrub (Calluna vulgaris) of the heath family, widespread in western Europe and Asia, North America, and Greenland. It is the chief vegetation on many wastelands of northern and western Europe. C. vulgaris is distinguished from true heaths, which are sometimes loosely called heather, by the lobes of its calyx (see flower), which conceal the petals; in true heaths the petals cover the calyx. Scotch heather has purple stems, close-leaved green shoots, and feathery spikes of bell-shaped flowers. It has various economic uses: large stems are made into brooms, shorter ones are tied into bundles that serve as brushes, and long trailing shoots are woven into baskets.
Variants of HEATHER
heather or Scotch heather
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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