Bell Heather

Erica cinerea

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Bell Heather

About

Bell Heather is found in a variety of harsh habitats including heathland, acidic soils, open woodland and even coastal areas. It particularly likes dry, well-drained soils. The dark purple-pink, bell-shaped flowers appear between July and September, carpeting heathlands and bringing them to life with the buzzing of nectar-loving bees and insects.

How to identify

Bell Heather is distinctive with its dark purple-pink, bell-shaped flowers forming clusters up the stem, and short, dark green needle-like leaves borne in whorls of three.

Where to find it

Found throughout the UK and Ireland with the exception of the East Midlands.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • Novermber
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Purple-carpeted heaths are an iconic feature of the UK's landscape and are the result of hundreds of years of low-impact human activities such as livestock-grazing and scrub clearance. Yet development and the decline of traditional farming methods have caused many of these precious habitats to be lost - over 80% of lowland heathland in the UK has disappeared in just 200 years. The Wildlife Trusts manage many heathland habitats for the benefit of wildlife; by volunteering for your local Trust you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Bell Heather
Latin name
Erica cinerea
Category
Wildflowers
Statistics
Height: up to 50cm
Conservation status
Common.