Common Name: Heather
Family Roots: Member of the Ericaceae (heather, heath) family. Greater than 90% are from South Africa (Cape Province). Common relatives include rhododen-dron, azalea, and blueberry.
Personality: Tiny bell-shaped flowers occur in dense clusters at stem ends. Stems 20–28 inches long with needle-like leaves. Plant is a woody shrub, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel-veined. Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Fall, winter, and spring.
Stem Length: 20–28 inches
Flower Length: 1 inch
Care & Handling: Remove bottom leaves, recut stems under water, and place in a fresh flower food solution. Leaves and flowers dry out, easily and/ often drop prematurely.
Storage Specifics: 34°–38°F or up to 5 days in water, longer when held dry. In one test they were held at 35°F for over two weeks and still had 10–15 days of vaselife.
Tidbits: “Erica” is Greek from “ereike” (heather) and “ereiko” (to break), as an infusion from the leaves was reputed to break bladder stones.