This is a genus with only one species but a myriad of over 500 cultivars. It is closely related to the other heathers, namely Erica. In this species the flowers are bell-shaped and come in a range of colours, from pink and red to purple. There are also white-flowered forms. They flower from mid-summer into the autumn. As well as variation in the colour of the flowers there is also plenty of choice in the colour of the foliage, ranging from greens to yellows and gold and even purple. The leaves are small, only about 1cm (½in) long, and evergreen.
Callunas form a low-spreading mound that gets up to about 40cm (15in) high. This dense, spreading habit makes them very useful as ground cover plants. They are often planted with conifers to make a bed with a permanent structure and colour. This kind of bed is virtually maintenance free, but some gardeners find that such a permanent structure can become a bit boring. They must have an acid soil and do best in the sun. They will grow in light shade but are then likely to become straggly. Increase from cuttings.