Also known as the Sea Pink, the genus has its
various species in Europe, western Asia, North
Africa and North America.
The species most used in gardens is Armeria maritima,
the Common Thrift, a native of the coastal regions
of North America and Europe. The tightly clustered
heads of small flowers vary from white to pale
pink in the native state but in rich pink and
reddish purple tones in varieties of garden origin.
“Bees Ruby” is a hybrid of uncertain
origin with stems fully a foot high and bearing
large heads of ruby-red flowers; it is, in every
way, a giant form of Thrift and most useful for
planting in the front of the border.
Armeria latifolia, six to twelve inches, is a
crimson-flowered species from Portugal.
In cultivation Armerias demand full sun and ample
drainage, it being wise, except in the most porous
soils, to incorporate plenty of coarse grit into
the soil around the roots.
Propagate by seed or division of the roots in
The flowering season extends from late May until
Thrift – Armeria, Sea-Pink
Six to eighteen inches.
Flowers in various shades of rose and pink, also
white. May to October.
The wild sea-pink, common on the British coasts,
grows freely in any fairly light garden soil.
It should have good drainage and a full exposure
to the sun; over-hanging trees or encroaching
neighbours will weaken and ultimately destroy
Its compact little mounds of grassy foliage
make one of the best of live edgings to beds and
borders, which with care in dividing and replanting
may be kept in condition for many years and increased
Plant good pieces of root any time
between October and March; if before the winter,
firm the roots carefully in after the last thaw
Besides Armeria maritima, the native variety and its
white form alba, there are several others; Armeria
cephalotes, easily raised from seed as a hardy
perennial, a larger version of maritima, with
round pink flower-heads on eighteen inch stalks;
Armeria Laucheana, rosy-crimson flowers; and Armeria bracteata
rubra, a tall-growing deep rose.
These are all
fine, but perhaps they miss the proper charm of
the race, as found in maritima in its wild state,
the low growth of dark green, covered in June
with a sort of spray or cloud of delicate rose.
When it is used for edgings the dead flower-heads
should be clipped off after the main display is
over in July, to leave the green border trim and
compact until another year.