heather flowers meaning

What Does Heather Flower Mean and Symbolize?

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It’s pretty impressive how heather flower has an important meaning in many different cultures around the world.

The meaning of the heather flower is derived from its genus name, Calluna, which is derived from the Greek word kalluno, which means to purify or decorate. This is fitting because heather plants were previously used to make brooms.

Heather flowers are native to northern and western Europe, Turkey, and Morocco, and have also become naturalized in regions of North America.

Heather Flower Symbolism By Color

heather scenic landscape

The symbolism of heather flowers can vary based on their colors:

Purple Heather Flowers

They are often associated with admiration, beauty, and good fortune, purple heather symbolizes admiration for someone or something special. It can also convey a sense of solitude and beauty.

White Heather Flowers

white heather flowers

The white heather flower symbolizes luck and protection. It is often seen as a token of good fortune and is sometimes associated with spiritual healing or purification.

Yellow Heather Flowers

They symbolize wellness, luck, and positiveness.

Red Heather Flowers

Red heather is less common, but when found, it is associated with passion and positive energy. It can symbolize deep emotions, love, and intensity.

Pink Heather Flowers

pink heather flowers

Pink heather typically represents good wishes, conveying sentiments of good luck, joy, and harmony. It is often given as a gesture of affection and positive intentions.

Heather Flower Symbolize In Cultures

  • Celtic Cultures: Revered as a protective charm, bringing good luck to travelers and ensuring safe passage. Its purple blooms were believed to ward off evil spirits and offer comfort to the grieving.
  • Scottish legend: Linked to fairies and enchanted landscapes, heather represented the magic and mysteries that dwell unseen. White heather, especially, held potent luck for finding buried treasure.
  • German Traditions: Often used in love divination rituals, with the direction a single bloom fell predicting the direction of affection. Pink heather symbolized enduring love, while red expressed passionate desire.
  • Scandinavian Mythology: Associated with the goddess Freya, the queen of love and beauty. Wearing heather crowns during celebrations was said to attract love and good fortune.
  • Modern Symbolism: Today, heather retains its connection to protection and good luck, but also carries broader meanings of beauty, resilience, and perseverance, blooming even in harsh conditions.

What Are Some of The Benefits of Heather Flower?

Heather flowers have many properties that make them a truly beneficial plant for everyday use. In fact, they are a good alternative for urinary and digestive medicines (1).

ladybug in heather flower

Heather plants offer a versatile array of uses that extend beyond their aesthetic appeal. In floral arrangements, these delicate heather blooms lend a rustic charm, gracing bouquets, wreaths, and centerpieces with their vibrant colors.

Culinary enthusiasts can explore their edible varieties, incorporating them into the secret recipe of salads or desserts for a subtle infusion of flavor and a visually pleasing garnish. If you let the flowers dry, you can make herbal heather tea that tastes good and might help you relax. People also use dried heather flowers to make things smell nice like in potpourri or little bags you can put in your drawers.

sheep eating heather

Additionally, crafters can integrate dried heather flowers into various projects, from homemade candles to resin art, adding a natural and distinctive element to their creations. Whether used for visual allure, culinary experimentation, or holistic well-being, heather flowers present an array of creative possibilities.


What is the myth of the Heather flower?

The myth of the Heather flower varies across cultures, but in Celtic folklore, it is often associated with good luck and protection.

What does heather mean for a girl?

As a girl’s name, Heather is derived from the plant and is generally interpreted to symbolize qualities like beauty, independence, and resilience.

What does heather mean love?

In the language of flowers, heather is commonly associated with love and good wishes, representing admiration and appreciation.


spiderweb in heather flowers

Heather flowers are important to any ecosystem, not only because they provide many positive health benefits but also because they provide food for many insects, bees, and even birds (2).

It has often been said that a flower can reveal some of the deepest feelings without the need to say a word, and this is definitely the case with Heather flower, as its history and significance have been carried out for thousands of years.

Learning about Heather flower involves more than learning the scientific name of it, or the different types there are, it actually involves learning about the messages that all flowers provide in order to spread the true knowledge and intention of nature.

Therefore, the meaning of each flower can lead us to understand how most flowers work and how they get along with each other. After all, they form a bigger ecosystem that we are still discovering and learning about (3).  

Heathers are beautiful plants that will brighten up your garden. They are also the perfect type of plant for those who only just started to plant flowers as they are low-maintenance.

See more: Victorian flower language


Reference List:

  1. Monschein, Marlene & Iglesias, Jacobo & Kunert, Olaf & Bucar, Franz. (2010). Phytochemistry of heather (Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull) and its altitudinal alteration. Phytochemistry Reviews. 9. 205-215. 10.1007/s11101-009-9153-5. 
  2. Descamps, C., Moquet, L., Migon, M., & Jacquemart, A. L. (2015). Diversity of the Insect Visitors on Calluna vulgaris (Ericaceae) in Southern France Heathlands. Journal of insect science (Online), 15(1), 130. https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iev116
  3. Fagúndez J. (2013). Heathlands confronting global change: drivers of biodiversity loss from past to future scenarios. Annals of botany, 111(2), 151–172. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcs257


*Featured Photo by wasnoch/depositphotos

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