This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol5-6", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Red Bearberry(4rctostaphylosUva-ursi,Spreng.). - This plant is a native, and found on heathy, rocky mountains, Scottish heaths, dry stony mountain heaths. The plant has the shrub habit. The stem is prostrate, then ascending, trailing, with stout, woody branches, the young branches downy. The bark is dark, forming scales. The leaves are shining, evergreen, leathery, rigid, deep-green, inversely ovate or spoon-shaped, entire. The margin is woolly, the veins netted above and below. The flowers are few, 4-6, pink, in close, terminal, drooping clusters, crowded, short, smooth. There are persistent scales and bracteoles, fringed with hairs. The ultimate flower-stalks are very short. The calyx-lobes are short and broad. The corolla is pitcher-shaped, with 4-5 lobes, hairy within. The anthers have long awns. The fruit is a berry or drupe, red, round. The plant is 4-24 in. in height. It flowers in May, June, and July. It is an evergreen shrub.
The habitat of this plant is sandy heaths in the S.W. of England. The plant has the heath habit. The stem is long, slender, straggling, with many erect, downy branches, the flowering branches long. The leaves are in whorls of 4 (or 3), close, nearly stalkiess, ovate, downy above, bluish-green below, with small scales, and the margins bent-back, fringed with hairs (hence ciliaris). The flowers are crimson, in terminal one-sided racemes, inclined on very short ultimate stalks, with bracteoles in the middle. The sepals are downy, fringed with hairs (hence, too, ciliaris), ovate. The mouth of the curved, oblong or ovoid corolla is oblique, and small. The style projects. The anthers are included, and have no appendages or awns. The ovary is smooth, ascending. The plant is 1-1 1/2 ft. in height, and flowers between June and September. It is a perennial shrub.
The habitat of this plant is heaths. As in the case of the other heaths the plant has the shrub habit. The stem is hairless, stout, woody, much branched, the branches stiff, erect, tufted, densely leafy. The leaves are smooth, linear, bent-back, 3 or 4-5 in a whorl, the margins rolled-back over the midrib. The flowers are erect, crimson, in closely-clustered racemes, in the axils below the top of the branches, on slender, ultimate flower-stalks. There are bracteoles in the middle of the latter. The sepals are blunt, ovate, fringed with hairs. The corolla is bell-shaped, short, with short lobes. The anthers are divided into two at the tip, half-projecting, and have no awns, being lateral, consisting of 2 cells, swollen below, and are chocolate-coloured 'or dark-purple. The ovary is smooth. The plant is 1-3 ft. in height, flowering in July and August. It is a perennial shrub.
The habitat of this species is wet or boggy heaths and mountain bogs. The Irish Heath has the usual heath or shrub habit. The stem is erect, the plant bushy and smooth, with numerous rigid branches, which end in leafy racemes. The leaves are numerous, erect to spreading, 3 or 4 in a whorl, crowded, on short stalks, linear, with margins rolled-back to the midrib, united below to the under-surface, flat above, there being a furrow in the middle below, and decurrent below. The flowers are crimson, in dense, terminal, axillary, drooping racemes. The sepals are ovate to lance-shaped. The corolla is pitcher-shaped, with broad lobes. There are bracteoles above the middle of the ultimate flower-stalks, which are solitary or in pairs. The stamens and style project slightly, and the latter lengthens. The anthers are terminal, have no awns, and are divided above into 2 lobes. The ovary is not clothed with hairs. The plant is 1-3 ft. in height. It flowers early, between March and May. The Irish Heath is a perennial evergreen shrub.
St. Dabeoc's Heath (Boretta cantabrica, O. Kuntze = Dabcecia polifolia, Don). - The habitat of this plant is boggy heaths. The habit is the shrub habit. The stem is at length prostrate, bushy, with scaly bark, the branches slender, hairy, glandular. The leaves are oval, elliptic to ovate, blunt, fringed with hairs, flat, dark-green above, glossy above, silvery white and woolly or cottony below, borne on short stalks, the margins rolled back. The flowers are 5-10, crimson or purple, rarely white, in simple, loose, one-sided, terminal, glandular racemes, drooping, borne on short, stout, curved, ultimate stalks, with leafy bracts. The sepals are ovate to lance-shaped, fringed with hairs. The corolla has 4 short lobes. The anthers are large, arrow-shaped, purple, 2-fid, with flat anther-stalks. The ovary is hairy, glandular. The plant is 1-2 ft. in height, flowering between July and September. It is a perennial shrub.