There is but one species in this genus native to Europe, North Africa and temperate Asia. While not naturally from there, this is the plant that Scotland is know for. It has managed to spread across a large portion of the globe.
Calluna used to be tied in with Erica, but was separated based on the calyx of the flower, foliage type and winter hardiness.
According to legend, a young maiden named Malvina, daughter of the legendary Scottish poet Ossian was to be married to a brave Celtic warrior Oscar. Unfortunately, Oscar was killed in battle and the messenger delivered the horrible news. The messenger also delivered a spray of purple heather that Oscar had sent to her. When Malvina received a massage, she was heartbroken and inconsolable. As her tears fell upon the heather, the purple flowers turned into white ones. After that, Malvina decided that anyone who came across a white heather would be blessed with good fortune.
Name Derivation: From the Greek meaning to brush or to clenase; referring to its use as a broom
Common Name: Heather or Scottish Heather
Calluna is in the family Ericaceae.