New for 2019 in our Sunnyvale garden: Armeria ‘Ballerina Lilac’, commonly called thrift or sea pink, is a compact, low-growing plant which forms a dense, mounded tuft of stiff, linear, grass-like, dark green leaves (to 4″ tall). Tufts will spread slowly to 8-12″ wide. Tiny, purple flowers bloom in mid spring in globular clusters (3/4-1″ wide) atop slender, naked stalks rising well above the foliage to 6-10″ tall. Sporadic additional flowering may occur throughout the summer. Flower clusters are subtended by purplish, papery bracts. We are growing it in a small gallon pot (8×8).
Genus name is Latinized from the old French name armoires for a cluster-headed dianthus.
In the wild, thrift or sea pink commonly grows in saline environments along coastal areas where few other plants can grow well, hence the common name.
Best grown in infertile, dry, well-drained soils in full sun. Foliage mounds tend to rot in the center if grown in moist, fertile soils or in heavy clay. Good drainage is essential. Deadhead spend flower stems to encourage additional bloom.
No serious insect or disease problems.
A compact plant for edging, border fronts, rock gardens or wall pockets. May be massed as a ground cover for small areas. Impractical large scale ground cover due to slow spread. Also effective in containers.
Common Names: sea thrift, sea pink
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Native Range: Europe, North America
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Pink to white
Sun: Full sun
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil
First planted: 2019
nursery: Yamagami of Cupertino