CONSERVATION CHARITY Plant Heritage claims that 62 per cent of the 1,441 heathers listed in the RHS’s Plant Finder are under threat. 

In spite of their long flowering periods and ability to attract bees, heathers have fallen out of favour with gardeners.

Plant heritage conservation officer Mercy Morris said: “Heathers are sold almost as bedding plants, with little or no information.”

She warned that this risked a “potential mass extinction” unless retailers offer named cultivars.