Calluna vulgaris, or Scotch heather. These are the true heathers of the British Isles. Very hardy to -20F (with protection). Need full sun to part shade and good drainage. Prefers neutral to acid soil. Flowers are great bee forage and good for honey. Pruning can be done after flowering (usually October) but if the spent flowers are left through the winter the seeds provide a good winter food source for the birds. Then prune in April to remove any winter damage and keep the plant compact. Prune back to include all the previous season's spent flowers.
Plant availability by Season
Winter / Spring
Golden foliage in summer turns to deeper gold in winter. Pale pink flowers, July - October. Bushy plant to 16" high, spreading to 25" or more. Full sun to part shade. Valerie Griffiths can tolerate some alkalinity. Hardy to 5F. Prune in April to include previous season's spent flowers. U.K. award of Garden Merit winner.
Stunning electric red leaves and rowdy young branches in fall and winter; magenta fall flowers are less showy than the autumn foliage they bloom through. Though it can stand partial shade, colors will be more exciting in full sun and with windy exposures. Over-protection from the elements will not help it achieve the reddest winter colors but will cause it to be merely green in spring and summer. It does not like ever to be entirely dry. Requires acidic, loamy, moist soil, though with good drainage so as not to risk root-rot. Branching is riotous as a young plant, but will settle down to become more dense and prostrate with age. 'Wickwar Flame' Heather is named after a village in Glouchestershire and was developed by a local nurseryman there for release in 1970. Zone 5-8.