Heather: Exploring the Myths and Folklore Surrounding this Enchanting Plant


Heather, a plant native to the western shores of Scotland, holds a significant place in the mythology and folklore of the Scottish clans. Its delicate purple flowers have captured the imagination of artists and poets alike. In this post, we will explore the meaning and origin of heather in Scottish folklore, as well as how it appears in mythology and other cultural references.

In Scottish folklore, heather is often associated with luck, protection, and even healing. It is believed that placing heather under one’s pillow can ward off bad dreams, while wearing heather as a decoration can bring good fortune. Its fragrant blooms are also said to have a calming effect, making heather a popular ingredient in herbal remedies.

Heather’s presence in Scottish mythology can be traced back to ancient times. The clans would use heather to create brooms, which were believed to have mystical powers. These brooms were used to sweep away negative energies and protect the home from evil spirits. The heather plant was also seen as a symbol of love and friendship, often exchanged as a token of affection.

While heather has long been associated with Scottish folklore and mythology, its popularity and significance extend beyond the borders of Scotland. Heath semantically refers to a large area of open uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation, most often dominated by low shrubs such as heather. In English proper, “heath” refers to any non-forest, low altitude, open, typical of high latitudes and/or of sub-continental or oceanic/maritime climates, despite the ambient temperature and precipitation levels. Heather festivals and events celebrating this beautiful plant can be found in countries as diverse as Belgium and Luxembourg, while heather is also used to symbolize Scotland in many cultural and artistic works.

Meaning of heather in English

In English folklore and mythology, heather holds a special place. It is often referred to as the “otherworldly plant” that can stop a well from going dry or act as a fuel source in a bio-fuel well. The meaning of heather in English last to their shores, where they have been submitted for fuel use for ages. The plants show their fragile numbers as over 2,000 are now out of date.

In Western music, heather is often used as a reference in lyrics and song titles. It is said to show how a single sentence can make a new meaning out of other words. The use of “heather” in music has been around for ages and its origin dates back to the Scots.

In Scottish folklore, heather is associated with the clan and their traditions. The heath where the clan is from, Kortrijk, is nearby Evergem and in English folklore, it appears in stories before the announcement cancellation of shows.

There are different definitions for heather in English, but most show that it is a plant that can be used without brooms, which is a popular symbol associated with heather. The “heather brooms” videos on YouTube show how to make brooms out of heather stems. March is the most popular time for heather shows. It is also known as a sign of spring in folklore and mythology.

Heather mythology and folklore

Heather, a plant that grows in Western Europe, appears in mythology and folklore throughout the ages. The meaning and origin of the heather plant are often steeped in cultural references and ancient traditions.

In Scottish mythology, heather is said to fuel the fires of the fairy folk and is also associated with the clans. It is believed that wearing heather can bring good luck and protection. In some clans, heather is used to make brooms to sweep away evil spirits.

In English folklore, heather is seen as a symbol of fragility and is often used in love spells. It is believed that if a person walks over heather, their love will last forever.

Heather is also referenced in music and literature. The band Heathers, well-known for their folk-pop music, released a single titled “How to make ‘other’ disappear” in 2012. The song’s lyrics refer to heather and its symbolism.

Despite its rich mythology and cultural significance, the use of heather in folklore has diminished over time. Efforts are being made to stop the cancellation of heather-related shows and events.

In March 2022, an announcement was made that the heather folklore show in Kortrijk, Belgium, would be postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new dates for the show in Evergem, nearby Diest, have not yet been confirmed.

In folklore, heather is often submitted for use in spells and rituals before a certain age. Its use is believed to bring luck and protection to those who practice it.

Heather Origin Scots Gaelic Meaning
Heath Old English Moors, wasteland

These definitions show the different meanings and origins of the word “heather” in various languages.

So, while heather folklore may seem fragile and on the verge of disappearance, efforts are being made to keep it alive and preserve its cultural significance.

Once the pandemic is over and gatherings are allowed again, the heather folklore shows and events are expected to continue, bringing together people from all over to celebrate this ancient plant and its rich mythology.


Heather is a plant that dates back to ancient times. It is found in many parts of the world, but is most commonly associated with Scotland and other parts of the British Isles. The plant has a long history in mythology and folklore, and is often used in traditional music and dances.

In English folklore, heather is believed to have magical properties. It was used by witches and druids in their rituals, and was thought to provide protection against evil spirits. Heather was also used as fuel for fires, and its smoke was said to ward off misfortune.

There are many legends and stories surrounding heather in Scotland. One of the most well-known is the story of a clan of Scots who used heather to make brooms. The brooms were said to have the power to sweep away evil and bring good fortune to those who used them.

Today, heather is still used in traditional Scottish crafts. It is often woven into baskets, rugs, and other items. Heather is also used in herbal remedies and is believed to have a wide range of health benefits.

In recent years, heather has gained popularity as a symbol of Scotland. It is often used in advertising and branding, and can be seen on everything from clothing to souvenirs. The plant’s delicate flowers and vibrant colors make it a popular choice for gardens and landscapes as well.

Heather is a plant that holds deep meaning and significance in Scottish culture and folklore. It is a symbol of resilience and beauty, and is cherished by many as a national emblem.


Heather is native to the heathlands and moorlands of Western Europe, including Scotland, Ireland, and nearby areas. It thrives in acidic soils and is often found in coastal areas.

Mythology and Folklore

In Scots folklore, heather is associated with fairies. It is said that if you bring heather into your home, the fairies will come to protect you. There is also a tradition of tossing heather onto a fire to release its magical properties.

Fragile – Single

The single “Fragile” by Heather is a captivating musical piece with deep roots in Scottish mythology and folklore. The song tells a story of the delicate nature of heather, a plant commonly found in the Scottish heath or moorland.

Heather has long been associated with various meanings and symbols in folklore, often representing beauty, solitude, and resilience. In Scottish mythology, it is believed that the heather plant can protect against evil spirits and bring good luck to those who carry it.

The origin of the word “heather” can be traced back to the Old English word “hǣð”, which refers to an open, uncultivated land. This demonstrates the close connection between heather and the Scottish highlands, where the plant thrives and contributes to the unique landscape.

The fragile nature of heather is highlighted in the lyrics of the song, as it symbolizes the vulnerability and fleeting nature of life. The song invokes a sense of nostalgia and reflection, urging listeners to appreciate the beauty and transience of the world around them.

Heather’s “Fragile” single has gained popularity not only in Scotland but also in other parts of the world. The announcement of the release of the single sparked excitement among fans, who eagerly awaited Heather’s new music.

Despite the cancellation of their planned tours and live shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Heather shows no signs of slowing down. The band has been actively engaging with their fans through social media posts, sharing behind-the-scenes videos and updates about their musical journey.

While the release of “Fragile” is a significant milestone for Heather, it is just one of the many accomplishments the band has achieved over the years. Their music has won the hearts of audiences worldwide, and their unique blend of folk and rock elements continues to captivate listeners.

Heather’s music is like a breath of fresh air, transporting listeners to the picturesque shores of Scotland, where the heather blooms and ancient folklore comes to life. Their songs are a testament to the rich heritage and traditions of the Scottish people.

In conclusion, “Fragile” is a single that showcases Heather’s ability to create meaningful and enchanting music, drawing inspiration from Scottish mythology and folklore. The song serves as a reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing every moment.


In the folklore and mythology of Heather plants, music plays a significant role. Traditional shows and songs originating from the folklore around Heathers have been passed down through the ages. One such show, called “Heather’s Folklore Show,” took place in Evergem, Luxembourg, without which the Heathers folklore would not be complete. The show dates back to March when the mythology of Heathers first emerged.

A sentence from the folklore shows how Heathers have been fueling their use in music: “Heaths have always been a clan, and nearby clans would refer to each other as ‘other brooms.” This sentence demonstrates how the Heathers’ mythology and folklore come together in their music, as well as other aspects of their culture.

Before the cancellation of the Heather’s Folklore Show, efforts were made to collect videos and posts about the show and submitted them as a single music compilation. The purpose was to make sure the show’s music and most significant numbers could still be enjoyed, even though the show itself was postponed. This compilation is a testament to the impact of Heathers’ mythology on music and the efforts made to keep their traditions alive.

In Scots, the word “Heather” has different meanings and definitions, from the plant itself to the western shores where Heathers are found. In the context of Heathers’ mythology and folklore, the fragility of Heathers is often used as a metaphor to symbolize the delicate nature of their culture. The announcement of the show’s cancellation was a significant blow to the Heather clan and other nearby clans who had come to rely on the show as a gathering point for celebration and cultural preservation.

Overall, music is an integral part of Heather mythology and folklore, and the cancellation of the show highlights how deeply rooted these traditions are within their culture.

✿ Read More About Flowers.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.