Armeria maritima

Armeria maritima.

Thrift, Sea Thrift or Lady’s Cushion is in Family Plumbaginaceae.
It has 7 synonyms under the Armeria or Statice genus names.
The perennial plants form dense rounded clumps up to around 30 cm high and wide.
All the leaves are in a basal rosette.
The stiff linear grass-like leaves are up to 10 or 15 cm long and 3 mm wide.
The dark green leaves may be smooth or have some hairs.
There are 1 to 3 veins from the base.

Inflorescences are on an erect scape (peduncle) up to around 40 cm high.
The slender scape has no leaves and may be smooth or hairy.
The single globular flowerhead is 1.5 to 3 cm across.
At the base is an involucre of ovate to triangular bracts up to 1.5 cm long.
The bracts are green to purplish-green.

The bases of the 5 sepals are fused into a ribbed tube with 5 lobes.
The lobes have an apical bristle.
The tissue between the lobe ribs becomes thin and membranous after fertilisation.
The tube may have hairs all over, only on the ribs or have none.

The 5 free petals, on a narrow claw base are usually longer than the sepals.
The overlapping lobes are pink to white but cultivars add shades of red, magenta, lilac, mauve and purple.

There are 5 stamens with filaments attached to the base of the petals.
The dorsifixed anthers open through longitudinal slits.
There are no nectaries.
The 5 fused carpels form an ovary with a single locule and 5 free styles.

The membranous calyx remains on the fruit.

There are a number of subspecies including:
Armeria maritima subsp. californica which has 15 cm high clumps and lavender-pink flowerheads on a short scape. It has a number of cultivars.

Other species plants available here are:

Armeria alliacea with mounds up to 45 cm high and 25 cm wide.
The grass-like leaves are up to 15 cm long and the inflorescence stems up to 45 cm high.
The 2 cm wide flowerheads have white flowers.

Armeria giraldii forms clumps 20 cm high and 50 cm wide.
The very fine green to blue-green leaves are under 2.5 cm long.
Inflorescence stems hold the pink flowerheads, around 1 cm across above the leaves.

Armeria pseudameria. Common thrift are rounded subshrubs up to 40 cm high and 100 cm wide.
The grass-like leaves are 2.5 cm long and the tall scapes have deep pink flowerheads 5 cm across.
Cultivars have pale pink or red flowers.

Almost all are from Armeria maritima with a few from Armeria pseudameria.
As well as white, flowers come in pale, deep and rose-pink, mauve-pink, red, lilac, purplsh-pink and magenta.
Leaves range from long and grass-like to short and wider ones.