Symbolism of the Heather Flower
The symbolism of the heather plant is rich and steeped in history. Growing on the windy hills of Scotland, the white wild heather has come to symbolize protection. Early in the history of Scotland, there were many wars of competing factions. Throughout these battles of position and power, white heather was worn as an amulet of protection. It was thought that the red and pink heathers were stained with blood. Nobody wanted to invite bloodshed into their life, so these colors of heathers would not be carried into battle. Scottish legend also says that no white heather will ever grow where blood has been shed. One of the sweetest legends of Scottish folklore is that white heather only grows where fairies have been.
The most well known legend of white heather is that in the 3rd century A.D., a young maiden named Malvina, daughter of the poet Ossian was to be married to her true love Oscar. Oscar, a warrior, never came home. Killed in battle, a messenger was sent to to deliver the horrible news. The messenger delivered the horrible news with a spray of burgundy heather. Malvina was inconsolable upon hearing the news of her true love’s death. Wondering among moors and mossy hills, she shed futile tears. Legend says that as her tears fell upon the heather it turned the purple flowers into white ones. Instead of drowning in bitterness, Malvina decided right then and there that anyone who came across a white heather would be blessed with good fortune for all of their days.