Ruskin's Botanical Drawings

John Ruskin, Red Heather (Bell Heather) , RF1452 © Ruskin Foundation

Ruskin, John (1819-1900)

Red Heather (Bell Heather)
7 1/10 X 4 1/2 in.
Pencil and Ink

Inscribed, in pencil: The red heather / Style - rose coloured / stamens, brown / passing into black / Bell, like the / most beautiful strawberry / cream ice - a little darker / but without white : / Calyx. Same rose colour / but lustrous instead of / bloomy. / Stalk. Transparent orange / clock. / nearly / scarlet. / a in plan. / points of calyx / b. Lower swell of bell / c. upper layers[?] of bell

RF 1452


The Flora of Cumbria entry for this species, which is a member of the Heath family (Ericaceae) reads as follows;

Erica cinerea L. Bell heather

Fairly common on ungrazed acid moorland in the fells, especially in the Lake District, and on sea cliffs and dune-heaths along the west coast. It prefers drier situations than Erica tetralix and characteristically occurs in the fells on rock outcrops, particularly along gillsides. This may be a consequence of its sensitivity to grazing. Where non-calcaareous outcrops are rare, as in much of the Pennines and the Bewcastle Fells, it can sometimes be quite elusive. It is often favoured initially by burning although subsequently largely replaced by Calluna.
Alt. limit: c. 620 m. Great Rundale (72.26)

This entry was researched and written by Professor David Ingram.