The Erica genus is made up of hundreds of species of small shrubs, widespread in most of Africa, up to the Mediterranean and in Europe; with the term, in addition to the many species of heather, the only existing species of calluna, calluna vulgaris, is vulgarly indicated, a small plant closely related to heather, which it strongly resembles. Given the number of species, it is clear that they exist heathers very different from each other; most of the heathers it consists of ground cover plants, which do not exceed 25-35 cm in height; however, there are larger species, which can reach 150-180 cm in height, such as Erica arborea. All species (including the calluna) have needle-like leaves, thin and sharp, slightly fleshy, carried by thin, semi-woody, sparsely branched stems; in autumn or spring the plants are covered with a dense flowering, present at the leaf axil or at the apex of the branches. The flowers of heather they are minute, usually bell-shaped, consisting of an almost cylindrical corolla, white, pink, red, purple. The largest flower is that of Erica mammosa, which can reach several centimeters in length. Heather is widespread in Italy, both in gardens, as an ornamental plant, and in the undergrowth or near wetlands.
Some species of heatherTree heather
Evergreen shrub, very present in the hilly areas of our country; this species of heather has a very slow growth and can reach 3-4 meters in height, becoming a real tree, although commonly the arboreal heather shrubs do not exceed two meters. It has minute, dark leaves, often gathered in groups of two or three. The tiny flowers bloom between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, and are white in color, very fragrant. The stems are erect, well branched, and have a reddish color. The arboreal heather wood is commonly called briar, and is used to produce pipes, as it is very hard and has a very pleasant natural coloring. Erica arborea develops both in slightly acid soils and in slightly calcareous soils.