Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sea Lavender - Limonium carolinianum


Sea lavender (Limonium carolinianum) is native to the coastal marshes of every coastal county in Florida and those of the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, from Texax to Quebec and Labrador/Newfoundland.  It is highly salt tolerant and tolerates daily inundation during high tides.
Sea lavender is a perennial forb. In Florida, it tends to keep its basal leaves through winter. These are variable in shape, but most frequently are lanceolate and rather succulent in appearance.  The multi-branched, nearly leafless flower stalks arise from these leaves and stand about 2 feet tall.  Flowering is most common in spring and in fall, but can occur in most months in central and southern Florida.  Numerous 5-petal blooms are produced for many weeks, a few at a time.  As the common name implies, they are a rich lavender in color. Though each bloom is small (about 1/8 inch across) and opens for only part of the day, plants during the peak blooming season are quite attractive.
Because of its habitat preferences, sea lavender is only sporadically grown by commercial sources and it does not lend itself to the typical landscape setting.  It would make an interesting and attractive addition to a salt marsh restoration or for landscapes on the beach that receive direct saltwater inundation.

2 comments:

  1. Do you know if anyone has tried growing this plant in conditions not involving saltwater inundation? It may be that it will grow in other conditions but is found in saltwater inundation areas because it is the strongest competition there.

    Thank you for all the work you do, your blog is very useful!

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  2. Mary- That is often the issue with plants, like this that grow in conditions very few others can withstand, but I do not know anyone that is propagating it - in saltwater or fresh.

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