Armeria pseudarmeria is a durable hardy perennial for most any sunny location. A relative of our well-known little 'Thrift', Armeria maritima, which grows so happily on cliffs and seashores in coastal areas around Europe, this delightful hardy perennial requires little water and very little maintenance. In our gardens it is known to be one of the easiest grown perennials and a valuable rockery plant. It flowers all through the summer and into early autumn.
Compared to A. maritima, Armeria pseudarmeria produces larger flower clusters, broader leaves, stiffer flower stems and stands taller at around 30 to 35cm (12 to 14in). This compact, evergreen perennial grows in low clumps and sends up long stems from which charming globes of flowers bloom, in white, mauve, pink and carmine red. It works well in a border and makes for a wonderful cut flower.
With clumps of dark green, evergreen foliage it once established. Tiny plants can easily find their way into small niches in your rock garden and low growing borders. It is a good nectar plant much appreciated by butterflies and moths, is easy to grow, undemanding and very long lived.
Also known as False Sea Thrift., this is an excellent ground cover plant for areas of full sun. It does well on poor soil and is an excellent choice for rocky areas where it can be stuffed into cracks and exist on very little soil.
It is perfect for gravel or maritime garden and for gardens designed as xeriscapes or rock gardens. It can take light foot traffic and makes a neat, decorative edge along a garden path or down garden steps.
Armeria pseudarmeria is an ideal rock garden plant and one that should always be included where choice is restricted.
Sowing: Early spring to early summer or early autumn
Start in spring or ten weeks before transplanting outdoors before the last frost or in autumn. Prior to sowing, soak the seeds in warm water for 6 to 8 hours. Sow at temperatures of around 16 to 18°C (60 to 70°F)
Fill pots with a well drained compost, soak the posts by standing them in water, moistening the compost from the bottom up and then drain. After soaking the seeds sow onto the surface of the compost. Just cover with a very light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place in a propagator or somewhere out of direct sunlight and keep the soil damp but not wet. Seedlings will normally germinate in around two to four weeks but occasionally can be erratic.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant and grow them on in cooler conditions until large enough to plant outdoors.
Move plants to a coldframe or plunge the pots up to their rims in a sheltered site outdoors, and grow them on in cooler conditions before planting out in the autumn at a distance of 30cm (12in) apart.
Grow Armeria plants in full sun on well drained soil. Sea thrift is tolerant of poor sandy soils once established and copes well in coastal areas. On heavier soils, incorporate plenty of grit to improve drainage, prior to planting.
It is easy to look after Armeria they require a light watering in dry conditions, Deadhead faded flowers to extend the flowering season throughout the summer. Armeria plants are evergreen, so do not prune them in autumn. Remove dead foliage in spring.
Plants can be divided in very early spring. Division is useful to rejuvenate plants that are waning but depending on location may not be necessary some plants can do well for many years just increasing in size. However, if the centres rot out, cut the plants back severely. Divide and replant only healthy plant sections, discarding the rotten centre.
Rockeries, Walls, Edging paths, Underplanting, Borders, Containers, Window boxes, Green Roof, Rock Gardens, Cut or Dried Flower, Butterfly Garden, Gravel Gardens Maritime and Seacoast Exposure
Armeria pseudarmeria is a species that is now classed as Endangered. Native to the region around Lisbon and Sintra in Portugal, it is found in basaltic soils that originated from granular igneous rocks. Populations can be found in an area that is less than 500 km², but the subpopulations are severely fragmented.
One of the reasons might be the loss of ecological corridors by removing dry stone walls that traditionally separated the agricultural fields. The main threat to this species is the abandonment of traditional agriculture which leads to vegetation succession and competition. Collection of the plant is a further threat, as is overgrazing, urbanisation and instalment of wind turbines.
Armeria pseudarmeria is listed on Annex II of the Habitats Directive and under Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) and is legally protected in Portugal.
Armeria maritima is a member of the family of flowering plants Plumbaginaceae, sometimes referred to as the leadwort family or the plumbago family. With a cosmopolitan distribution species in this family are found in many different climatic regions, from arctic to tropical conditions, but are particularly associated with salt-rich steppes, marshes, and sea coasts.
Carl Ludwig Willdenow (1765-1812) a German botanist, pharmacist, and plant taxonomist assigned the genus. The name Armeria is latinised from the old French name armoires, the common name for a cluster-headed Dianthus, Dianthus armeria. The standard botanical author abbreviation Willd. is applied to plants he described.
Interestingly, armeria is also the species name for the genus Dianthus, (Dianthus armeria) which are commonly called 'Pinks' and Armeria are known as ‘Sea Pinks’.
The species name, pseudarmeria means False Armeria.
The alternative common name of Armeria maritima is 'thrift', although no one can be quite sure why this came about, Richard Mabey, in his Flora Britannica, suggests that it may have been because its tufted leaves were economical with water in the windy locations where it's commonly found.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 100mg Average Seed Count 95 seeds Seed Form Clean Seed. Family Plumbaginaceae Genus Armeria Species pseudarmeria Synonym False Sea Thrift Common Name Large Flowered Thrift Other Language Names Portuguese: Arméria-branca Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Globes of white, mauve, pink to carmine red blooms. Natural Flower Time Late spring throughout summer Height Plants 10 to 15cm (4 to 6in), Flowers to 20cm (8in) tall. Spread 60cm (24in). Position Full Sun Soil Poor, Very well drained.