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.

For example, one of the things they symbolize is independence and confidence, considering it tends to grow in really difficult places where no other plants seem to grow. 

In some parts of the world, heather flowers are considered to bring good luck. 

This heather flowers meaning derives from some old Scottish tale, and it goes like this: Malvina, who was the daughter of a Celtic bard, was engaged to be married to Oscar, a warrior in his town and country. However, soon after going to war, Oscar was killed, and Malvina had to be informed by a messenger, who gave her a Heather flower as a symbol of her beloved’s love. 

Apparently, this flower was bright pink but as soon as Malvina started crying it turned white. From then on she had wished for everyone else to be happy, lucky, and loved, even when she was really sad because of what had happened.

Therefore, Heather flowers are great if you would like to show others your love towards them, or the good intentions you have with them. 

Each Heather Flower Color Has a Relevant Meaning

heather scenic landscape

The colors of the Heather flowers play an important role in determining what they mean and symbolize. For example:

Purple Heather Flowers

They symbolize beauty, admiration, and strength. 

White Heather Flowers

white heather flowers

They symbolize innocence, luck, and protection.

Yellow Heather Flowers

They symbolize wellness, luck, and positiveness.

Red Heather Flowers

They symbolize bad luck because it’s the color of blood. 

Pink Heather Flowers

pink heather flowers

They symbolize femininity, passion, and friendship.

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).

Herbal Benefits of Heather Flowers Throughout History

The Celts and the Druids discovered the positive effects of this plant. They used it to cleanse the digestive system after eating, but also when trying to break blockages of blood. They considered the Heather plants as something magical.

How to Use Heather Flowers?

ladybug in heather flower

The leaves and flowers can be served as an infusion, and they can also be used topically as a skin product. Many people often use it whenever they are having a bath, and many others have used it as a way to dissolve kidney stones. 

Other uses of Heather plants and flowers

Due to its strength, Heather plants can also be used as building material and or tinder material. They also make a great cushion and bedding in traditional crafts. 

In Scotland, people use Heather plants to make jewelry, wines, and beers. 

Are Heather Flowers edible?

sheep eating heather

Numerous sheep and deer regard Heather plants as their primary food source, especially when these plants are underneath the snow. Even though nowadays Heather flowers are still used to make alcoholic beverages, they are not commonly used in dishes, salads, or any other type of cuisine. 

Are Heather Flowers fragrant?

Heather flowers are very fragrant. They are often described to have a strong scent similar to honeysuckle. Its fragrance is very fresh and floral. 


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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