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Common Name: Cornish Heath
Erica vagans is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.75 metres tall.
It has miscellaneous uses.
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[