Armeria maritima

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Armeria maritima (Mill.) Willd.

Plumbaginaceae

Life form: perennial

Exposure: sun   4

Moisture: dry

Soil: sand - Soil: gritty-sandy

Arrangement: basal
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: linear

Division: simple

Shape: funnel-shaped
Fruit: not specified

63D / e981ab 

Inflorescence: cyme

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: clump-forming

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Caryophyllidae
Superordo:
Plumbaginanae
Ordo:
Plumbaginales

Armeria maritima is a perennial with pink flowers. A selection of white to dark pink cultivars also exists.

Naming

Armeria maritima was described by Carl Ludwig von Willdenow in 1809. The name is considered as validly published.

Taxonomy

Armeria maritima is a species in the genus Armeria which contains approximately 122 to 160 species and belongs to the family of the Plumbaginaceae (Leadwort Family).

Characteristics

Armeria maritima at the coast
Armeria maritima - habitus
Armeria maritima - habitus
Armeria maritima - flower
Armeria maritima - flowers
Armeria maritima on brit. 3-pence coin (1943)

Growth

The perennials reach heights of 5 to 20 centimetres, the upright flower stalks are up to 60 cm high. The main growing season is from spring to fall. The arching leaves reach a width of 10 to 30 centimetres.

Leaves

Armeria maritima is evergreen. The green, simple leaves are basal. They are linear, 1 to 15 cm long and 1 to 3 mm wide. They are entire and sessile and can be pilose or glabrous. The foliage is porous.

Flowers and Fruits

Armeria maritima produces cymes of showy, pink funnel-shaped flowers from May to June. The inflorescences have a diameter of 1,3 to 3 cm. The flowers stalk are 2 to 60 cm long and, like the leaves, can be pilose or glabrous.

From spring to summer the perennials carry only few ornamental brown fruits.

Root System

The plants form tap roots.

Distribution

Armeria maritima is native to Northern Europe and northeastern European Russia.

Cultivation

The perennials prefer a sunny situation on dry soil. They prefer sandy or gritty-sandy soil with a pH between 4,7 and 7,5. The plants need a soil depth of at least 25 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -35°C (USDA zone 4) and need a frost-free period of at least 16 weeks.

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • woodland borders (soil usually rich in humus)

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: anaerobic soil
  • low: soil salinity, drought, calcareous soil

Uses

The plants appear to best advantage in small groups of 3 to 10, the recommended planting distance is 15 to 25 centimetres. Suited for cottage gardens, rockeries, roof greening and for beds and borders, as well as suited as cemetery plant and as groundcover. Good neighbours are e.g. Artemisia stelleriana, Dianthus deltoides, Thymus serpyllum or Mertensia maritima.

Maintenance and Propagation

  • Divide every few years to promote vitality.
  • Deadheading prolongs the flowering season.

Propagate by sowing or by division.

Cultivars

  • 'Alba' - white flowers
  • 'Rosa Stolz' - lavender flowers, 10 cm high
  • 'Splendens' - jcompact growth, 20 cm high
  • 'Vesuv' - reddish leaves, dark pink flowers
illustration (Christiaan Sepp, 1814)

Pests and Diseases

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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