Bell heather Erica cinerea

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See July, August
Colour Purple
Habitat Heathland

'People make songs about your big cousin Extravagantly sprawled over mountain after mountain...But you're more beautiful and you blossom first' - Norman MacCaig, 'Bell Heather'

Bell heather announces the brief blaze of colour on the moors at the end of summer. It has dark green hairless leaves in 3s.

On a warm day you can often hear the hum of countless insects feasting on its blooms. It is so named after the pink bell-shaped flowers that grow in groups along its stems and its growth is not as large or dense as common heather or ling. It is the County Flower of Flintshire/Sir Fflint.


Apart from the East Midlands of England, bell heather is widespread across the UK.


Dry heaths and moors.

Best time to see

Flowers July to August.

Did you know?

Local names include Bell ling, Black heath, Carlin heather (Carlin, from Old Norse kerling, means hag or witch), Cat heather, Crow ling and She-heather.