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Common Name: Cornish Heath
Erica vagans is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
Western Europe in Britain, France and N. Spain.
Heaths in S. Cornwall, rare in Britain but locally common and abundant in Cornwall[
|Pollinators||Bees, Flies, Lepidoptera, Self
A calcifuge plant, it requires a light lime-free loam[
]. Grows well on sunny slopes, thriving in any soil that is not heavy or alkaline[
]. Plants can succeed in a slightly alkaline soil if it is rich in humus according to some reports[
]. Grows best in a poor soil[
]. Resents dry soils. Prefers an open situation.
A very ornamental plant[
], there are many named varieties[
A food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies and moths as well as providing a food source for the moths and butterflies[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
A dye is obtained from the flowers. No further details.
The twigs are used for making brushes, thatching, bedding etc and also as a fuel.
A good ground cover plant, though it might need weeding for the first year[
]. It can be clipped in spring to give denser growth[
]. Space the plants about 60cm apart each way[
Seed - surface sow in an acid sandy compost in a cold frame in spring. Keep moist. Prick out the plants as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them in their permanent positions when they are 5 - 8cm tall[
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 3cm long taken from twiggy lateral growths near the base of the plant, mid summer in a frame. Remove the leaves from the bottom part of the stem without causing any damage to the bark. The cuttings root in a few weeks if they are given some bottom heat. Plant out in spring[
Layering in spring or autumn. Plants can be 'dropped' and then dug up and divided about 6 - 12 months later. Dropping involves digging up the plant and then replanting it about 15 - 20cm deeper in the soil to encourage roots to form along the stems[