A group of long-lived, annuals and perennials with richly coloured everlasting flowers. Widely grown for drying and preserving for indoor decoration.
Family: Plumbaginaceae (plumbago)
Botanical Name: Limonium
Common Names: Statice, Sea Lavender
Foliage: Deciduous or evergreen, simple pale-green leaves. Often with wavy margins. The lower leaves can be rough and leathery.
Flowers: Dense terminal clusters of tiny, long-lasting, colourful flowers. Available in shades of bright yellow, purple, pink, blue or white.
Flowering Period: July-September.
Soil: Well-drained, moderately fertile soil (chalk, sand or loam). Any pH. Avoid waterlogged conditions.
Conditions: Best in full sun (a few species will tolerate shade). Most forms are best grown in a south facing aspect.
Habit: Clump forming.
Type: Half-hardy annuals and perennials.
Origin: Europe, Asia, North Africa.
Hardiness: Half-hardy in the UK. Protect from frost.
Plant perennials in autumn or spring. Grow in a sunny position, in a well-drained loamy soil that is not too heavy. L. latifolium will tolerate partial shade.
Ideal for growing in large clumps in dry sunny sites. Most varieties do well at coastal locations.
A favourite plant for cutting and may be dried as an everlasting flower. To dry Limonium, cut the stems before the flowers are fully open, tie in bunches then hang upside down in a cool dark place.
Water until establish then only water in very dry weather.
Remove dead stems of perennials in late autumn.
Some species can be affected by grey mould and mildew.
Sow the seeds thinly in pots or trays of seed compost under glass in late winter to early spring. Keep at a temperature of 13-16°C (55-61°F). When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick out, pot on and harden-off before planting out in late spring.
Alternatively, sow in late spring where they are to flower. Thin out to the required spacing once big enough to handle.
Divide perennials in spring or take root cuttings in late winter.
Limonium bonduelle has lyre-shaped leaves from ribbed stems bearing compound flower clusters, mainly in yellow. Rarely available.
Limonium latifolium a popular evergreen border perennial with dark green, oblong-elliptic basal leaves and light violet-blue flowers, in late summer. Height and spread 18-24in (45-60cm). Available at Chiltern Seeds.
Limonium sinuatum (common statice) a tender perennial species usually grown as a half-hardy annual. It bears long clusters of white or blue flowers surrounded by green bracts from mid summer to early autumn. Height to 18in (45cm). Available at Chiltern Seeds.
Limonium suworowii (Pink Pokers) a half-hardy annual that bears tall thin spikes of tiny rose-pink flowers. Not suitable for drying. Height to 18in (45cm). Seed available from Chiltern Seeds.