Heather is a familiar native plant to most Finns, found in good light on mineral soils, sand, rocks, bogs and.sandy roadsides. At Mustila it is common in the nutrient-poor pine forests in the upper areas, round the rocky areas, here and there forming beautiful patches.
Heather flowers in late summer from July to August with reddish-violet or occasionally white flowers. It produces nectar which makes a strongly-flavoured honey. The species can also be used to make tea. It is the Provincial Flower of Kainuu Province.
Heather can be found almost throughout Europe and Britain has wide-spread heather moors, while in Scotland it has been used in brewing beer, in place of hops (Humulus lupulus).
A broad range of varieties have been produced, with yellow or silvery leaves, for example, and double flowers. Some of these varieties have been tried at Mustila, mostly unsuccessfully. However, a few seem to thrive, flowering later than the native species, from late September onwards.