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Sea Lavender

Flowers are the beauty and charm of the nature. With their smiling fragrances they enchant the surroundings and please our moods. And Sea Lavender is one of the most beautiful gifts of nature. The purple haze creation that shows up on the salt marshes in the month of August depicts the presence of the beautiful and delicate flowers known as statices or more commonly as Sea Lavender.
Sea-lavender or Statice is one of the 120 species of flowers in the genus Limonium. They are the prominent members of the plumbago or leadwort family, Plumbaginaceae.


Sea lavender is a flowering plant found in the high salt marsh and generally grows in association with salt hay grass. Sea lavender is a perennial and remains for years once it becomes established. One of the prettiest coastal flowering plants, Sea Lavender is a tall plant. The delicate purple flowers are supported by branching flower stalks. The dark green, spoon shaped leaves have a leathery appearance and they look as if they have been arranged in a circle at the base of the stem. The tubular shaped sheath of the leaves sheath causes the flower to appear alternately and delicately arranged.

Little flowers of purple color are borne on one side of the stem. Sea lavender flowers originate from basal leaves that rise up directly from the plant's roots. Blooming period begins in July and lats till The end of October. Unable to tolerate extreme cold the plant freezes to brown color in the fall and following winter. Sea Lavender is also known as Marsh Rosemary not because it bears any resemblance to rose but because it thrives in the low salt marshy areas, irregularly flooded marshy areas or occasionally also on the coastal sand dunes.

Sea Lavender grows abundantly in the coastal areas ranging from Atlantic coast from Labrador to Florida, westward along the Gulf to Texas. It can also be traced in Europe, Asioa and Australia. Salt meadows and marshes are the most preferred habitats of this tall marshy plant. Sea Lavender shows maximum growth when it receives adequate sunlight and well drained soil.Statice will tolerate heat and drought as well as salt spray. Heavy soils tend to weaken the stems of the plant leading to incomplete and malnutritioned growth. this salt tolerant plant is short lived but once established it sprouts up on its own.

This species has about 120-150 species under the genus Limonium, out of which few are listed below:
  • Limonium aragonense (Monegros, endemic)
  • Limonium arborescens (Tree Limonium; Tenerife, endemic)
  • Limonium aureum (central Asia: Siberia, Mongolia, northwest China)
  • Limonium auriculaeursifolium (Alderney Sea-lavender; southwest Europe, northwest Africa)
  • Limonium australe (Australia)
  • Limonium bellidifolium (Matted Sea-lavender; Europe, southwest Asia)
  • Limonium bicolor (Mongolia, northwest China)
  • Limonium binervosum, etc.

The little flowers are collected and dried for ornamental qualities. They are used to prepare winter bouquets. And it is believed that the fragrance of these flowers keeps away the moths.
Small, purplish Limonium flowers are cut for drying in the summer when they are fully open.
The clusters of small, papery flowers that bloom at ends of stems in summer and early fall, and are especially good for drying.
The brightly colored, flat flower clusters are sought after for use as a dried material.
The flowers have a papery texture and hold their color well.
They may also be used in arrangements as a fresh flower.
Sea lavender is grown commercially by florists for flower decoration.
Due to their compact dome-forming growth habit, Sea Lavenders are long flowering and excellent for rock gardens cutting and drying.


Interesting facts
In May 1991, Sea Lavender was added to a Rhode Island state law that protects many wild decorative plants. As a result, it is illegal to dig or pick the flower without the landowner's written permission.

When in abundance, the tiny flowers appear as if blue-gray mist blown in over the meadows from sea, and on closer view each plant suggests sea-spray itself.

This marshy plant is well equipped with solid and strong tap root system.

Sea Lavender can be easily propagated through cuttings, seeds and division methods.

Coastal development has destroyed much of the habitat sea lavender requires for survival.

Because of its popularity in floral decorations, sea lavender has been over-collected. Picking the flowers stops the plant from producing seeds for future generations; pulling it up by the roots destroys the entire plant.

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