Did you know?
Heather is seen as iconic of Scotland, where the plant grows widely. When poems like Bonnie Auld Scotland speak of 'fragrant hills of purple heather', when the hero of kidknapped flees through the heather, when heather and Scotland are linked in the same sentence, the heather talked about is Calluna vulgaris.
Purple heather is one of two national flowers of Norway the other being Saxifraga cotyledon. It was chosen as a national flower on the basis of a vote of popularity in a Norwegian radio show in 1976.
Associated with the summer solstice, heather was a sacred plant to the Druids. The flowers are typically purple in color, but there is also a rare white variety. Like a four-leaf clover, finding a sprig of white heather is considered very lucky, and some use heather as a charm of protection. Queen Victoria gave heather a boost as a good luck charm because she held Scottish traditions and lore in high regard. At that time, the flower was also scarce, so she associated finding it with good luck, just as we consider finding a rare four-leaf clover.