A useful mat-forming evergreen perennial with dense, grass-like, leaves. It is covered with abundant clusters of pink flower globes on slender stems in late spring and early summer. An easy to grow tough and hardy plant that is drought tolerant. Also tolerant of coastal conditions.
Family: Plumbaginaceae (leadwort
Botanical Name: Armeria maritima (Syn. A. bottendorfensis, A. vulgaris)
Common Names: thrift, sea pink, cliff rose, cushion pink, lady's cushion, marsh daisy, sea grass
Foliage: Compact tufts or mats of strap-shaped or linear green leaves. Evergreen.
Flowers: Wiry stalks, topped with globes of small cup-shaped flowers, in shades of red, pink and white.
Flowering Period: Spring to early summer.
Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Any pH.
Conditions: Full sun. Any aspect, in either an exposed or sheltered location.
Type: Evergreen perennial.
Origin: Europe to Siberia and Americas
Hardiness: Fully hardy in most regions of the UK
Suitable for rock gardens, scree or gravel beds, paving, containers and alpine troughs. Also does well at the front of the border.
Water well until established. Top dress in the spring with a general fertiliser.
No pruning required. Snip of dead flower stems to keep compact.
Generally pest and disease free.
Propagate by seed, division or basal cuttings. Good self seeder.
A. juniperifolia × caespitosa (juniper-leaved thrift) is a compact version with tiny round pink flower heads above a green mound of green grey foliage. Height to 4in (10cm), spread to 10in (25cm).
A. maritima 'Armada White' produces evergreen clumps of dark green grass like foliage covered with round heads of white flowers on stiff wiry stems. Height and spread to 1ft (30cm).
A. maritima 'Alba' provides a good display of white pompom like flowers from May to August. Height to 10in (25cm), spread to 19in (50cm). Available at Thompson and Morgan, Gardening Express.
A. maritima 'Nifty Thrifty' produces mounds of grass-like variegated foliage, topped with pink flower globes in early summer. Height to 8in (20cm), spread to 1ft (30cm).
A. maritima 'Rubrifolia' has a rich dark bronze leaf colour topped with pink pompoms in spring. Available at Gardening Express.
A. maritima 'Splendens' a compact form with neat grass-like foliage, topped with bright pink flowers on slender stems. Available at Gardening Express.