From the Pocket of a Dream
Taking these photos on my balcony, earlier in the morning, I had no idea what is this plant called in English. The Swedish word (Ljung) and Croatian (Vrijesak) – together with the Google Search – led me to a nice new knowledge. So I’m going to share some facts about Heather – a plant I’ve always liked a lot but didn’t really know why.
When I was a child I hadn’t seen it very often. In my homeland Croatia, heather grows in coastal areas, from the northern to the southern coast, especially in the lower part of the mountains facing the south. Since I lived in the central part of the country, I had the opportunity too see and pick it only at summer, when I was near the coast.
Smells and experiences of childhood always leave their marks forming our senses. So I thought I must liking it that much because of I love sea and, in general, everything about Mediterranean and its special scent of warm maquis at summer.
When I came to live in Sweden, I could have those lovely plants in amounts! All I knew about them was that they can withstand winter no matter how cold it may be. Today, I have learned more about that interesting plant and got some new “aha” experiences.
The scientific name – Calluna Vulgaris – comes from the Greek ‘Kallune’ meaning to clean or brush, as the twigs were used for making brooms and ‘Vulgaris’ from the Latin word, meaning ‘common’.
The Heather plant is sometimes also referred to as ‘Ling’ derived either from the old Norse Lyng or from the Anglo Saxon ‘Lig’ – meaning fire and referred to as use for fuel.
Heather, the name most commonly used for the plant, is of Scottish origin presumably derived from the Scots word ‘Haeddre’.
Heather is one of Scotland’s most prolific and abundant plants.
Heather flowers are seen in pink, lavender, white, magenta, amethyst, purple and red. But even in beautiful and varied colors of copper, pink, gold, silvery gray and almost infinite shades of green.
Heather flowers are also a traditional remedy in Swedish herbal medicine!
And….. it has afterlife too! To preserve the blooms for a prolonged period just leave the plant in the pot and allow the soil to dry completely. The plant will die but the colorful blooms can be enjoyed for months as dried flowers – as long as the plant is not disturbed.
Well…isn’t that something?
Images: © Eclipse 2012