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According to ancient traditions and flower symbolism experts, no, purple heather isn't directly associated with good luck. It does, however, represent bravery, courage and protection from danger. So, if you're lucky enough to have heather growing in your garden then you may see it as a sign of good fortune. If you are specifically looking for a good luck charm however, then you should turn to white heather.
Heather is immensely popular in Scotland, where it grows abundantly and is woven into Scottish history, folklore, and customs. It also grows throughout northern and western Europe, Turkey, Morocco, as has been naturalized in some parts of North America.
Wherever it's cultivated, many people associate heather flowers with good luck and often choose to carry sprigs like floral good luck charms.
Below I delve into to the legend of heather, it's healing powers, symbolism and of course my favourite heather gift ideas for all occasions. So read on to find out more.
The Legend of Heather
Heather has a rich history.
Perhaps the best known is a Scottish legend about the daughter of a poet who loved a warrior that was killed in battle. The story goes that when a messenger brought the news of her lover's death, he presented her with a bouquet of heather to symbolize her betrothed's love.
It is told that when her tears spilled onto the bouquet, the heather turned white.
Despite her grief, she wished that others would find happiness and that anyone who found white heather would enjoy good luck. And so the tradition began.
Healing Powers of Heather
Heather has been acclaimed for its healing powers, too.
In the 16th century, a German doctor claimed that heather's healing properties were effective on both internal and external sores. Around the same time, a Benedictine monk praised herbal tea made from heather as being beneficial to the health of the kidneys.
Today, some alternative medicine advocates consider heather a medicine that is good for the digestive system, especially issues related to the urinary tracts.
The Symbolism of Heather
Few flowers are associated with as much symbolism as heather.
Purple heather flowers represent admiration, solitude, and protection. They are among the most abundant and popular heather and are often used in floral arrangements and gift bouquets. Purple heather is an appropriate gift for someone that you admire, love, care about, and respect.
White heather is your way of wishing someone good luck and good fortune, a hope that all their wishes will come true. For these reasons, white heather is popular for bridal bouquets.
Queen Victoria gave heather a boost as a good luck charm because she held Scottish traditions and lore in high regard. At that time, the flower was also scarce, so she associated finding it with good luck, just as we consider finding a rare four-leaf clover.
Pink and red heather isn't the best idea for a gift because it is usually scorned because it is the color of blood - a sharp contrast to all the good things that heather otherwise symbolizes.
In general, heather is a warm and wonderful flower because it can generally help you express so many positive things, including:
if you want to recognize or acknowledge someone who exhibits a lot of confidence and independence, or if you want to encourage someone to embrace these traits.
If you want to wish someone good health, heather has been admired for its healing characteristics for centuries and so it's a wonderful symbol of your best wishes.
If you just want to give someone a trinket for good luck, jewelry with heather or other heather objects that they can carry around does the trick.
You can see that, through the centuries, heather has been related to good fortune, good health, good luck, and protection.
Heather as a Gift
Heather Terrarium Charm Bracelet by The Butterfly and Toadstool
Whether it's for a wedding, a good luck charm or just to say you're thinking of them, heather-themed gifts are a lovely way to express your feelings.
Below I've chosen a selection of my favourite heather themed gifts to give you ideas for all your gifting occasions.
1. Heather Terrarium Jewellery by The Butterfly and Toadstool
I've been making botanical jewellery since 2012, but none have proven to be as popular than my signature Terrarium collection.
With pieces ranging from necklaces and earrings, to bracelets, rings and bookmarks, each piece is handmade using real pieces of nature grown and collected here in Scotland.
The botanicals I use in my Terrarium pieces include Lavender, Moss, Lichen, Dandelion wishes, chilli flakes, hydrangea flowers and of course Heather.
Find them and all my nature inspired gifts in my Etsy shop here.
2. Silver Heather Ring by EricaJewellery
I love everything about Erica's jewellery pieces, so much so that I own the gorgeous Wishbone Forest ring.
This stunning heather piece, and her gorgeous lavender ring, are both on my wish list too! The attention to detail is simply beautiful and I love that Erica uses recycled Silver in her pieces too. She was also so helpful in regards to getting the perfect fit so I recommend her work 100%.
Find her full range in her Etsy shop Here.
3. Highland Heather Soy Wax Candle by MulderieWood
Bring the scent of the Scottish moorlands to your home with one of these hand poured Highland Heather candles.
Handmade with sustainable Soy Way, Mulderie Wood candles use natural fragrances that are paraben and cruelty free.
Find their full range here.
4. Heather Botanical Print by HackneyandCo
This is a beautiful gift idea for a heather enthusiast. Featuring a stunning illustration of Bell Heather which is found throughout the UK and Ireland. The print features both the common and botanical name of this pretty heather plant.
Available to buy in a range of sizes right up to extra large A2. This really is a beautiful gift idea for heather lovers.
Find more of Katy's stunning artwork here.
5. Rose Gold Plated Heather Necklace by Flower and Fable
If you love tales of old times and whimsical folk lore then you will absolutely adore the work of Flower and Fable.
Capturing the stories written by Floriography, Flower and Fable bring meaning to each and every piece they create. I've bought many different pieces as gifts over the years and have always been blown away by the craftmanship, care and thought that goes into each and every design.
There are stunning designs to suit all occasions in their collection.
6. Heather & Juniper Soap by HaelsaHandmadeSoap
This gorgeous botanical soap is handmade using traditional methods and sustainable ingredients.
Infused with a mix of Juniper berries, Rose Geranium and Heather flowers, this bar contains toning, soothing and relaxing properties.
Find the full range of Haelsa botanical soaps here.
7. Heather Wax Seals by HeirloomSealsCo
If you are looking for something extra special for a wedding or important occasion, then why not add these beautiful Heather print wax seals to your stationery.
A luxurious addition to letters, invitations, gifts or favours, these wax seal will not only add beauty, but will bring the symbolism of wild Heather with them.
Shop the full range Heirloom wax seals and stamps here.
8. Heather Gift Wrap by FrancescaKempArt
What better way to tie your heather gifts together than with this pretty heather wrapping paper and gift tag.
Designed using original embroidery work, this paper is truly unique and beautiful.
Printed in the UK on 120gsm FSC approved uncoated paper, it has a heavyweight, matte finish that's perfect for wrapping gifts.
Shop Francesca's full range here.
Purple heather carries with it some degree of good luck, although its primary symbolism is an expression of admiration, love, and respect.
The most appropriate colour of heather to express good luck and good fortune is white. White heather is popular in bridal bouquets for this reason, and because it connotes best wishes for a fruitful union.
Heather is an outstanding gift idea for many occasions. It can be incorporated into unique, handmade jewelry, art and a variety of interesting gifts that communicate your best wishes and admiration for friends and family.
Thanks for reading,