Cassiope - Himalayan Heather
DESCRIPTION: This group of hardy, dwarf, evergreen shrubs are natives of the Himalayas, Asia and North America. They do better in cool climates where summers aren't too warm. They can withstand temperatures as low as -30º F. Cassiopes are suitable for growing in shady or semi-shady places of the rock garden or shrub border. These plants have tiny, compact, overlapping leaves and solitary, bell-shaped flowers that resemble Lilies-of-the-Valley. C. 'Edinburgh' is a hybrid with slender, dark green stems up to 7 inches high. In the spring, they bear white flowers with a green calyx edged in red. This is the most easily grown of this group. C. 'Muirhead' is a very dwarf shrub with curved, repeatedly forked shoots and small, nodding, white flowers with orange-red colored calyxes, in the spring.
POTTING: These fussy plants need moist, peaty, acidic soil and conditions resembling the open moorland. In unsuitable climates, Cassiopes can sometimes be grown with success in a well-ventilated frame that is kept cool and moist. The surface of the soil should be covered with sphagnum moss.
PROPAGATION: Shoots can be pegged down in soil at any time so that they will form roots. Cuttings may be made of firm shoots, in August, and placed in pots of sandy peat and covered with a bell jar.
VARIETIES: C. 'Edinburgh'; C. lycopodioides; C. 'Muirhead'; C. 'Randle Cooke'; C. fastigiata (Himalayan Heather); C. tetragona; C. Mertensiana; C. hypnoides.
Go see DICTIONARY OF BOTANICAL NAMES.
Back to our botanical home page.