Bring butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden with showy sea lavender
Native to the Canary Islands, sea lavender is an herbaceous, evergreen perennial sub-shrub with dense, rounded dark green leathery leaves.
The flowers are strikingly beautiful with intense purple calyces and white corollas on stiff, long stems. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the showy flowers.
The fruit of the sea lavender is a tiny capsule containing a single seed, partly enclosed by the calyx. The flower petals are dry and papery at peak bloom.
This plant is known as an “everlasting” variety, which means that the flower retains its shape and color when dried, making it a favorite to use in dried flower arrangements.
Sea lavender tolerates salty conditions and well-drained soil but it really thrives in sandy soils, making it a perfect choice for seaside courtyards, rock gardens and flower beds. It can develop root rot in poorly drained, heavy wet soils.
This plant has large taproots, which makes it difficult dig up. If using it as a container plant, choose a deep-bodied container to accommodate its taproot.
Sea lavender is deer resistant, but keep an eye out for brown snails which can be a nuisance.
In the fall and winter months, the plant’s foliage turns brown, which is normal. Removing the spent leaves allows for new growth in the spring.
Perennial plants that complement sea lavender include yarrow, daylily, echeveria and kangaroo paw.
Sea lavender, also known as seafoam statice, grows well in sandy soils in coastal areas.