ETYM Old Eng. heth waste land, the plant heath, AS. haeth; akin to Dutch and German heide, Icel. heithr waste land, Dan. hede, Swed. hed, Goth. haithi field, Latin bucetum a cow pasture; cf. W. coed a wood, Skr. kshętra field.
1. A low evergreen shrub of the family Ericaceae; has small bell-shaped pink or purple flowers.
2. (British) A tract of level wasteland; uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation; SYN. heathland.
In botany, any woody, mostly evergreen shrub of the family Ericaceae, native to Europe, Africa, and North America. Many heaths have bell-shaped pendant flowers. In the Old World the genera Erica and Calluna are the most common heaths, and include heather.
Included among the heaths are North American blueberries, rhododendrons, mountain laurel, and Labrador tea.
Common Old World heath represented by many varieties; low evergreen grown widely in the northern hemisphere; SYN. ling, Scots heather, broom, Calluna vulgaris.
Low-growing evergreen shrub of the heath family, common on sandy or acid soil. The common heather Calluna vulgaris is a carpet-forming shrub, growing up to 60 cm/24 in high and bearing pale pink-purple flowers. It is found over much of Europe and has been introduced to North America.