Digging Dog Nursery Shrubs

Heaths and Heathers
at Digging Dog

Includes Calluna vulgaris (Heather) Flamingo, Kerstin, Martha Herman, Roland Haagen; & Erica (Heath) King George, Springwood Pink, C. D. Eason, Furzey, Kramer's Red, W. T. Rackliff

heaths and heathers

Heaths (Erica) and Heathers (Calluna) are best en masse. Drifts of their varied forms and flower and foliage colors blend beautifully. They're also fine companions for Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Pieris and other acid-loving plants in the evergreen shrubbery. The timid might try adding a few winter bloomers to the herb or perennial border for year-round interest. But be forewarned—to plant one is to want them all!

Requiring good drainage and poor, acidic soil, the Heaths and Heathers are ideal for the coastal garden. Some will perform well inland, preferring light shade, but they're sensitive to extremes of heat and cold. Wind and salt spray are tolerated as long as the plants are away from the front lines. Prune annually, with a shearing after the blooms are spent.

Calluna

Heather

Callunas’ tiny scale-like leaves range from deep green to silver, gold and bronze, with some changing color after a frost. Flowering from mid-to-late summer in cool whites, pinks and purples, the small bell-shaped flowers are frozen in graceful repose on one-sided spikes. Heathers are marvelous fresh or dried.


Calluna vulgaris ‘Blazeaway’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Blazeaway

Once you witness the blazing intensity of this bushy mat-forming beauty there’s no disputing its name. Summer paints sun-kissed gold and orange shades on dense needle-shaped foliage bejeweled with late blooming soft lavender-colored flowers, while frosty nights imbue radiant dark crimson reds to heat up the coldest winter day. ‘Blazeaway’ can be massed near Calluna ‘Firefly’ and Calluna ‘Wickwar Flame’ and juxtaposed against the dark greenery of Erica ‘Purple Beauty’ for a fulgent quiltlike spectacle.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 12" high x 15"–18" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Blazeaway’ (S-0755)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Bonita’  full sun  partial shade

This relatively new small-sized Heather makes a prismatic four season statement. Known as a ‘bud bloomer’ producing copious plump buds that don’t actually open, ‘Bonita’s snug tidy hummock signals late summer with gorgeous long-lasting reddish magenta buds. Stunning saffron, burnt orange and old gold shades enliven the fine-textured foliage and when cold weather arrives bronze tones provide additional cozy accents.

Blooms August-September

Size: 12"–18" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Bonita’ (S-0788)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Corbett’s Red’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Corbett’s Red

Named for the Oregon nursery where it originated, this reliable American cultivar offers striking crimson flowers that nearly obscure its low mound of handsome greenery. ‘Corbett’s Red’ is a compact, spreading Heather whose richly hued blooms can be partnered with Spiraea ‘Ogon’.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Corbett’s Red’ (S-0601)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Dark Beauty’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Dark Beauty

With full bodied colors similar to a fine Pinot Noir, this enticing beauty queen flaunts the darkest hued flower of all Callunas. Deep red buds reveal showy and plentiful, semi-double dark cherry blooms that shade to ruby amid a good-looking, compact darkly green silhouette.

Earning Holland’s prestigious Gold Medal award, ‘Dark Beauty’ will beckon you to her side whether she’s poised in the rockery, along a pathway or in a container.

Blooms August–October.

Size: 8"–10" high x 14"–16" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Dark Beauty’ (S-0654)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Firefly

Celebrating some of the most vibrant brick red foliage among the species, ‘Firefly’ never fails to snap us out of a gray winter-day funk. Sensational warm shades ranging from salmon to terra-cotta suffuse the leaves the rest of the year, while deep mauve flowers festoon its upright compact frame in late summer. A recipient of Britain’s sought-after AGM, this vividly colored Heather merits a choice niche in your garden.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 18"–20" high wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly’ (S-0653)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Flamingo’  full sun  partial shade

Welcoming spring, young growing tips dress up with striking pink and fiery red hues that look resplendent against the more mature dark green foliage. Lavender-colored flowers make a late summer appearance and extend this upright cultivar’s lively display of color.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 12" high x 20" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Flamingo’ (S-0437)
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AVAILABLE FALL 2017


Calluna vulgaris ‘H. E. Beale’  full sun

Christened after the owner of former British nursery Maxwell & Beale, this shapely AGM recipient has graced gardens since 1925 and remains nearly everyone’s favorite Calluna. Small linear gray-green leaves clothe a dense growing compact habit that promotes upright spiky racemes of delightful double shell pink flowers. Emphasizing soft hues, ‘H. E. Beale’s profuse long lasting pastel blooms complement any summer-time color scheme, and in winter its mauve-infused evergreen foliage further extends the hushed tones.

Blooms July–September

Size: 18" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Calluna vulgaris ‘H. E. Beale’ (S-0006)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Kinlochruel’  full sun  partial shade

Without a doubt, this AGM winner plays host to the most lovely double white flowers in the genus. Slowly opening, tiny buds reveal long, downward curving frosty blooms, illuminating the fine textured, bright green foliage that possesses a mounding habit, and in winter, bronze dipped tips.

Blooms July – August.

Size: 16" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Kinlochruel’ (S-0008)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Martha Herman’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Martha Herman

Forming a dense low mat of showy bright green foliage, ‘Martha Herman’ is outstanding as a foil or accent with other Heathers and Heaths. Snow white flowers and horizontal spread are the icing on the cake. A real find!

Blooms July–August.

Size: 12" high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Martha Herman’ (S-0009)
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AVAILABLE FALL 2017


Calluna vulgaris ‘Multicolor’  full sun  partial shade  new plant

With a nod to its name, this tailored low spreading Calluna serves up scarlet spring growth, then gilt, copper and lime laden leaves for the warmer months along with tiny pale mauve late summer flowers. Lucent colors announce winter in orange and red shades, easily igniting a bleak chilly day. Rarely offered and slow growing, ‘Multicolor’ can be planted alongside dark green evergreen companions, tucked amid rocks or massed atop a wall.

Blooms August–September

Size: 6" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Multicolor’ (S-0820)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘October White’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris October White

Offering a clean and classic look in the garden, this Calluna’s frosty white spires make prized additions to floral arrangements, either fresh or dried. Later to flower than most Heathers, the elegant fall blooms are showcased against handsome deep green foliage on upright branches. For varied forms, its pert stance can be coupled with Acaena saccaticupula’s low-lying, silvery blue leaves.

Blooms September–October.

Size: 16" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘October White’ (S-0576)
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AVAILABLE FALL 2017


Calluna vulgaris ‘Red Star’  full sun  partial shade

Distinctive for its opulent finery, 'Red Star' flashes deep purplish red double blooms on long upright flower spikes near summer's end, earning this attractive somewhat open growing Calluna its name. Tiny dapper leaves craft a dark forest green foil that offsets the vivid blossoms and counterposes lime and golden-leafed Heathers, such as Calluna vulgaris 'Blazeaway' to great effect.

Blooms August–September.

Size: 12"–18" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Red Star’ (S-0769)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Silver Knight’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Silver Knight

Heralding handsome woolly gray foliage throughout the year, this knightly cultivar is yet another J. W. Sparkes introduction. Colder weather paints violet tinges on the leaves, while late summer finds upright branches studded with purple flowers near the tips. Plant ‘Silver Knight’ amid deep green companions such as Calluna vulgaris ‘Dark Beauty’ and Erica ‘Rackliff’ and a captivating contrast is yours to enjoy.

Blooms August – September.

Size: 20" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Silver Knight’ (S-0180)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Sister Anne’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Sister Anne

Bursting with lush growth in spring, ‘Sister Anne’s gray-green foliage contrasts nicely with its shell pink flowers. A winter chill will add a hint of purple to the foliage. This Heather is a dense mounding ground cover for lining walks or filling rocky nooks.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 6" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Sister Anne’ (S-0011)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Spring Torch’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Spring Torch

New foliage growth blazes orange-yellow, maturing to deep green, with medium pink flower spikes on a loosely mounding form.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 20" high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Spring Torch’ (S-0013)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Tib’  full sun  partial shade

Way back in 1938, a Miss Isabel Young, who was nicknamed Tib, happened upon this exceptional Heather in Scotland’s Pentland Hills. Unparalleled as a cut flower, either fresh or dried, the splendid rosy crimson double blooms, borne on long, erect slender stems, festoon a compact bushy mound of fine textured dark green foliage.

Eventually winning a coveted AGM, ‘Tib’ has withstood the test of time and promises to be a champion in your garden, especially when juxtaposed against the contrasting foliage of other Callunas such as Calluna ‘Firefly’ and Calluna ‘Sister Anne’.

Blooms July – September.

Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 2' 0"–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Tib’ (S-0711)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Wickwar Flame’  full sun  partial shade
Calluna vulgaris Wickwar Flame

With so many upright and horizontal stems, this Heather has an especially wild appearance in its youth. When it matures, however, it develops into a dense, tight mound of unusual foliage: burnt orange-yellow on the upper half and lime-green below, where it is protected from the sun.

During the winter months the color intensifies, making the shrub appear almost as though it’s on fire. During the summer, the color spectrum is extended with lavender- pink flowers blooming along the upper portion of the stems.

Blooms late July–August.

Size: 15" high x 2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Wickwar Flame’ (S-0177)
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Calluna vulgaris ‘Winter Chocolate’  full sun  partial shade

A delightful melding of warm colors, ‘Winter Chocolate’ is a year-round marvel in our Heather garden. Radiantly bedecked with chartreuse, chocolate and golden hues for winter, spring’s new growth brings creamy salmon red tips. As the days grow longer, the foliar shades broaden to an alluring range of oranges, pinks and yellows, toned by bright greens. As if this isn’t enough, soft lavender blossoms just about engulf the plant in late summer.

Blooms August – October.

Size: 12"–20" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Calluna vulgaris ‘Winter Chocolate’ (S-0470)
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Erica

Heath

Heaths have fine, short, needlelike evergreen leaves that vary from deep green to silver, gold, or chartreuse. Tiny, urn-shaped flowers sparkle like hoarfrost, in shades from white to pinks and rosy purples. Though most floriferous in winter and early spring, (and highly welcome at that dreary time!), a scheme for year-round color can be developed by combining with Callunas.


Erica carnea ‘Ann Sparkes’  full sun  partial shade

A beacon of dazzling color, the low-to-the-ground mat is cloaked in distinctive needlelike foliage set aglow with gilded yellow hues and bronzy red tips. Resulting as a sport from ‘Vivellii’ and named by J. W. Sparkes in 1955 for his sister-in-law, this lambent beauty is further heightened when her carmine-red racemes unfurl, cheering up a drab winter landscape.

Blooms February – March.

Size: 6"–9" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 4.

Erica carnea ‘Ann Sparkes’ (S-0637)
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Erica carnea ‘Golden Starlet’  full sun  partial shade

This shining starlet guarantees a year-round performance. Bred by Germany’s Kurt Kramer, ‘Golden Starlet’ is favored for its bright golden foliage, snowy white blooms and tidy, low spreading habit. During the summer months, the leaves attain a glowing yellow hue, while cooler weather brings lime-green accents and splendid flowers that last all winter.

Blooms December–March.

Size: 6" high x 16" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica carnea ‘Golden Starlet’ (S-0457)
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Erica carnea ‘King George’  full sun  partial shade

Deemed one of the loveliest and most decorative Heaths, this highly touted Erica displays bright rosy red flowers on a tidy, compact mound of Yew green foliage. Be sure to reserve a prominent spot for ‘King George’s abundant blooms, so you can easily relish them during winters’ gray days.

Blooms December–March.

Size: 6"–9" high x 18"–2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica carnea ‘King George’ (S-0214)
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Erica carnea ‘Myretoun Ruby’  full sun  partial shade
Erica carnea Myretoun Ruby

Donning the name of a castle in Wigton, Scotland, ‘Myretoun Ruby’s low spreading, Yew-green needles and deep reddish purple blooms achieve a gemlike opulence. Perhaps the darkest red flowering carnea cultivar in cultivation, this Erica’s saturated blossoms age with bright crimson highlights. Nestle amid Ajuga ‘Emerald Chip’, and relish the wintertime splendor.

Blooms December–March.

Size: 10"–12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica carnea ‘Myretoun Ruby’ (S-0175)
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Erica carnea ‘Pink Spangles’  full sun  partial shade
Erica carnea Pink Spangles

Distinguished by large, two-toned blooms and a robust yet gracious form, ‘Pink Spangles’ paints the winter landscape with a truly dynamic floral display. Shell pink sepals and rosier pink petals that open from lime-colored buds ornament this superb ground cover’s medium green, spreading foliage.

Blooms January–March.

Size: 9"–12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica carnea ‘Pink Spangles’ (S-0213)
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Erica carnea ‘Schneekuppe’  full sun  partial shade  new plant

The result of some meticulous Erica ‘Snow Queen’ and Erica ‘Springwood White’ hybridizing by legendary plantsman Kurt Kramer, this compact much improved cultivar is near the top of many plant lover’s favorite Erica list. German for snow peak, ‘Schneekuppe’ commands its name when a long lasting avalanche of urn-shaped pure white flowers tumbles over low well-groomed bright green foliage. Tailor-made for tight spots, the rockery or drifts, its hardy easy-care foundation imparts illuminated floral accents during the winter months plus cream-colored new foliar growth as a spring bonus.

Blooms January–March

Size: 6" high x 12"–15" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica carnea ‘Schneekuppe’ (S-0821)
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Erica carnea ‘Springwood Pink’  full sun  partial shade
Erica carnea Springwood Pink

Clear pink flowers engulf the forest green foliage, followed by vigorous spring growth that sprouts bright bronze. Pair it in a drift with ‘Springwood White’.

Blooms October-January.

Size: 10" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica carnea ‘Springwood Pink’ (S-0015)
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Erica carnea ‘Springwood White’  full sun  partial shade
Erica carnea Springwood White

Creamy buds open into white flowers on this old favorite in the trade. A vigorous ground cover, it can handle inland heat and tough conditions. ‘Martha Herman’ is its best mate.

Blooms October–January.

Size: 10" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica carnea ‘Springwood White’ (S-0016)
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Erica carnea ‘Vivelli’  full sun  partial shade

This Heath brings carmine red flowers that cover a low spreading form. Its deep green summer foliage bronzes after the first frost. Match this gem with white varieties.

Blooms October-January.

Size: 12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica carnea ‘Vivelli’ (S-0725)
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Erica cinerea ‘C. D. Eason’  full sun  partial shade
Erica cinerea C. D. Eason

Distinctive for its deep green, fine textured foliage and pleasing appearance, this summer blooming Erica was named in honor of the man who discovered it—Australian born Charles Eason. Very tiny short needles and slender branches make an ideal foil for the freely borne, dense clusters of glowing dark pink flowers.

Blooms June – September.

Size: 12" high x 15"–20" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica cinerea ‘C. D. Eason’ (S-0565)
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Erica cinerea ‘Purple Beauty’  full sun  partial shade
Twisted Heath
Erica cinerea Purple Beauty

It was a British couple, Mr. and Mrs. Letts, whose keen eyes first noted this summer flowering beauty in the wilds of Cornwall and later introduced it. Ample-sized, more than abundant and long blooming, the luminous amethyst flowers sparkle like jewels upon the vigorous dark green needlelike foliage that defines ‘Purple Beauty’s exquisite, low bushy habit.

Blooms June – October.

Size: 12" high x 22" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica cinerea ‘Purple Beauty’ (S-0471)
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Erica x darleyensis ‘Furzey’  full sun  partial shade
Erica x darleyensis Furzey

Deep magenta flowers decorate this durable evergreen when most plants are dormant. It’s happiest in full sun and interesting with Hebe ‘New Zealand Gold’. Some experts believe ‘Furzey’ has the best flower color among Ericas.

Blooms October–January.

Size: 12" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica x darleyensis ‘Furzey’ (S-0018)
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Erica x darleyensis ‘Kramer’s Red’  full sun  partial shade  new plant
Erica darleyensis Kramer’s Red

Named for Kurt Kramer of Germany, this ornate Heath’s plushly colored flowers outclass most other Erica cultivars. Stiff branches hold dark green foliage, enhanced in winter by bronze highlights and closely set chartreuse buds, which open into cerise-magenta blooms.

Blooms November–January.

Size: 15" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica x darleyensis ‘Kramer’s Red’ (S-0564)
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Erica x darleyensis ‘Margaret Porter’  full sun  partial shade
Erica darleyensis Margaret Porter

We have Ireland’s James W. Porter to thank for this attractive low spreading Erica. Light-colored buds precede dainty deep lilac urns, studding ‘Margaret Porter’s attractive mid-green needles, which burnish bronzy hues during the winter months.

Blooms January-May.

Size: 10" high x 2' 0" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica x darleyensis ‘Margaret Porter’ (S-0019)
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Erica x darleyensis ‘Mary Helen’  full sun  partial shade

Discovered as a chance seedling at the British nursery, Holden Clough, and named for the owners’ daughter, this outstanding bushy cultivar is distinguished by erect racemes of lovely rose pink blooms and lucent short-needled golden yellow leaves that brandish warm bronze shades during the colder months. The x darleyensis hybrids combine ironclad mettles with innate good looks, conquering variable moisture plus an array of soil types far better than most Ericas, and spirited ‘Mary Helen’ is a fetching example. Highly effective when massed, her stylish countenance lends colorful year-round allure to a stone wall, Heather garden or mixed border.

Blooms February-April

Size: 10" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica x darleyensis ‘Mary Helen’ (S-0801)
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Erica erigena ‘W. T. Rackliff’  full sun  partial shade
Erica erigena W. T. Rackliff

The pristine white flowers stand out against the deep green foliage, yet we favor this Heath for its form, which clumps to an almost spherical mound.

Blooms October–January.

Size: 18" high x 18" wide; hardy to zone 7.

Erica erigena ‘W. T. Rackliff’ (S-0020)
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AVAILABLE JUNE 2017


Erica vagans ‘Mrs. D. F. Maxwell’  full sun  partial shade
Cornish Heather
Erica vagans Mrs. D. F. Maxwell

Applauded throughout the world as one of the most cherished Heaths, this Erica’s deep cherry red blooms have as much charm as the story behind them. Mrs. Maxwell’s discerning eye first spotted its robust good-looking form while on her honeymoon in Cornwall, England and promptly sent home cuttings! Elevated above a low, deep green bush, the long upright racemes of cylindrically arranged, irresistible blooms open from the bottom up and when spent, persist through the winter burnished in russet brown hues.

Blooms July–September.

Size: 18"–2' 0" high x 2' 0"–2-1/2' wide; hardy to zone 5.

Erica vagans ‘Mrs. D. F. Maxwell’ (S-0607)
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