Clan Plants Worn By the Highlanders

Clan plants were worn on the men’s bonnets as a means
of identity. In a heated battle, you had to know at a
glance whether a man was friend or foe.

So the Highlanders began wearing sprigs of local plants to identify themselves. Everyone came to know knew who wore which plant.

Many of the Scots opted for sprigs from trees like oak, Scots pine, or hazel. Juniper, rowan
and birch were also popular
plants. Others chose among Scottish wildflowers
for their plant badges.

Clans and their Plants

Anstruther ~ sprig of Olive
Armstrong ~ Wild Thyme


Borthwick ~ a stem of two Roses
Boyd ~ Laurel
Brodie ~ Lesser Periwinkle
Bruce ~ Rosemary
Buchan ~ Sunflower
Buchanan ~ Birch
other Buchanan clans plants ~ Blaeberry, Bilberry, Oak or Wild Laurel
Burnett ~ a sprig of Holly leaves


Cameron ~ Cranberry
other Cameron clan plants ~ Crowberry or Oak
Campbell ~ Fir Club Moss or Bog Myrtle
Campbell of Argyle ~ Fir Club Moss
Campbell of Breadalbane ~ Bog Myrtle
other Campbell of Breadalbane ~ Roid, Sweet Gale or Fir Club Moss
Campbell of Cawdor ~ Bog Myrtle
Campbell of Loudoun ~ Bog Myrtle
Chattan ~ Red Whortle Berry
Chisholm ~ Rainneach or Fern
Colquhoun ~ Hazel sapling or Bear Berry
Cranston ~ a bunch of Strawberries
Cumming ~ Cumin (probably Wheat)


Davidson ~ Red Whortle Berry
Drummond ~ Thyme or Holly


Elliott ~ White Hawthorn
Erskine ~ Red Rose


Farquharson ~ Red Whortle Berry or Scots Fir seedling
Ferguson ~ Little Sunflower
other Furguson clan plants ~ Poplar seedling or Pine
Forbes ~ Common Broom
Forsyth ~ Forsythia flower
Fraser ~ Yew tree
Fraser of Lovat ~ Yew
Fraser of Saltoun ~ Fraise


Gayre ~ Variegated Bay or Noble Laurel
Gordon ~ Rock Ivy
Graeme, Graham ~ Laurel Spruge
Grant ~ Pine
Grierson ~ stem of Bluebells
Gunn ~ Juniper bush


Hannay ~ Periwinkle
Hay ~ Mistletoe, Oak sap
Henderson ~ stem of Cotton Grass
Home ~ Broom
Hunter ~ stem of Thrift, Shore Daisy


Innes ~ Great Bulrush


Jardine ~ sprig of Apple Blossom
Johnston ~ Red Hawthorn


Keith ~ White Rose
Kennedy ~ Oak
Kerr ~ Kerr knot


Lamond ~ Dryas
Lamont ~ sprig of Crab Apple
Lennox ~ Rose
Leslie ~ Rue in flower
Lindsay ~ Lime Tree
Logan ~ Conis Whin or Furse
Lumsden ~ sprig of Hazel


MacAllister, as MacDonalds ~ Common Heath
Mac Alpine ~ Scots Pine
MacArthur, as Campbells ~ Fir Club Moss
other MacArthur clan plants ~ Roid, Sweet Gale or Wild Thyme
MacAulay ~ Pine or Cranberry

Mac Bain ~ Boxwood
Mac Bean ~ Red Whortle Berry
Mac Callum ~ Mountain Ash
Mac Coll ~ Common Heath

Mac Donald ~ Scottish Heather
Mac Donald of Clanranald ~ Common Scottish Heather
Mac Donald of Garagach ~ Common Heath
Mac Donald of Glengarry ~ Scottish Heather
Mac Donald of Glenco ~ Common Heath
Mac Donald of the Isles ~ Common Heath
Mac Donald of Keppach ~ Common Heath
Mac Donald of Ranald ~ Common Heath
Mac Donald of Sleat ~ Scottish Heather
Mac Donnell ~ Common Heath
Mac Dougall ~ Bell Heath, Tufted Heather
Mac Dowall ~ sprig of Oak
Mac Duff ~ Red Whortle Berry, Cowberry
other MacDuff clan plants ~ Oak or Holly
Mac Dugal ~ Bell Heath
Mac Farlane ~ Cloudberry or Cranberry
Mac Fie of Cameron ~ Crowberry
other MacFie clan plants ~ Oak or Scots Pine

Mac Gallery ~ Common Heath
Mac Gillivray ~ Red Whortleberry
Mac Gregor ~ Pine

Mac Innes ~ Holly or Thistle
Mac Intire ~ Common Heath
Mac Intosh ~ Common Heath
other MacIntosh clan plants ~ Red Whortleberry or Bearberry
Mac Intyre ~ Scottish White Heather
Mac Ivor ~ Fir Club Moss, Roid or Sweet Gale

Mac Kay ~ Broom or Great Bulrush
Mac Kenzie ~ Holly or Stag Horn Club Moss
Mac Kinnon ~ Pine
other MacKinnon clan plants ~ St. Columba’s Flower (St. John’s Wort) or Pine

Mac Lachlan ~ Lesser Periwinkle or Rowan
Mac Laine of Lochbuie ~ Blackberry or Bramble
Mac Laren ~ Laurel
MacLaughten ~ Trailing Azalea, Little Scottish Plant
Mac Laurin ~ Wild Laurel
Mac Lean ~ Holly bush or Crowberry
Mac Lennan ~ Furze (Whin)
Mac Leod ~ Juniper bush
Mac Leod of Lewis ~ Red Whortleberry

Mac Millan ~ Holly seedlings
Mac Millan of Buchanan ~ Wild Laurel

Mac Nab ~ Pine, Stone Bramble, or Roebuckberry
Mac Nachtan ~ Trailing Azalea
Mac Naughton ~ Trailing Azalea
Mac Neil of Barra ~ Dryas, Mountain Avens
Mac Nichol ~ sprig of Juniper or Trailing Azalea
Mac Niel ~ Dryas

Mac Pharlan ~ Cranberry bush
Mac Phee ~ Red Whortle Berry
Mac Phee of Cameron ~ oak
Mac Pherson ~ Red Whortle Berry or White Heather

Mac Quarie ~ Pine
Mac Quarrie ~ Scots Pine
Mac Queen ~ Red Whortleberry
other MacQueen clan plants ~ Boxwood or Scottish Heather

Mac Rae ~ Common Club Moss
other MacRae clan plants ~ Staghorn Moss or Fir Club Moss

Mac Thomas ~ Snowberry plants


Maitland ~ Honeysuckle, Uilleann
Malcolm ~ Rowan berries
Matheson ~ four petal Rose
Menzie ~ Menzies’ Heath
Moncreiffe ~ Oak
Morrison ~ Driftwood
Munro ~ Common Club Moss
Murray ~ Butcher’s Broom
Murray of Atholl ~ Juniper or Butcher’s Broom


Ogilvie ~ Evergreen Alkanet or Hawthorn
Oliphant ~ Bulrush or Sycamore


Robertson ~ Fine-Leaved Heath or Bracken
Rose ~ Wild Rosemary
Ross ~ Juniper bush


Scott ~ Bilberry
Scrimgeour ~ Rowan
Seton ~ Yew
Shaw ~ Red Whortle Berry
Sinclair ~ Furze or Whin
other Sinclair clan plants ~ White Dutch Clover, Conis or Gorse
Stewart ~ Thistle, Oak
Sutherland ~ Butcher’s Broom or Cotton Sedge plant


Urquhart ~ Native Wallflower


Wallace ~ sprig of Oak
Wedderburn ~ Beech



Scientific Names of Highland Clan Plants

Bear Berry, Arbutus uva ursi
Bell Heath, Tetralix
Bilberry, Vaccinium ugilinosum
Broom, Spartium scoparium
Butcher’s Broom, Ruscus occiliatus
Common Broom, Spartium scorparium
Common Club Moss, Lycopodium clavatum
Common Heath, Erica vulgeris
Cranberry, Oxycossus palustris
Dryas, Octopetala
Evergreen Alkanet, Anchusa
Fine-Leaved Heath, Erica cinerea
Fir Club Moss, Lycopodium selago
Furse, Ulex europeus
Gorse, Ulex Europeoeus
Holly, Ilex aquifolium
Juniper, Juniperis communis
Laurel spruge, Laureola
Lesser Periwinkle, Pervinca major
Little Sunflower, Helian thymum marifolium
Native Wallflower, Cheiranthus
Pine, Pinus Sylvestris
Rainneach, Filix
Red Whortle Berry, Vaccinium vitus idea
Rock Ivy, Hedera helix
Scottish Heather, Erica vulgeris
Thistle, Carduus
Thyme, Thymus surplus
Trailing Azalea, Azalea procumbent
Wild Laurel, Laureola
Wild Rosemary, Andromeda media
Yew, Taxus baccata

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