Another first in 2017 for our Sunnyvale garden: Sea pink. Armeria maritima, 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, pink to white 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 wide shallow pot (15×4) with orinthigalum and tiger eye viola.
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.
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.