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PlantFiles: Sea Thrift, Sea Pink, Common Thrift
Armeria maritima

Family: Plumbaginaceae (plum-baj-i-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Armeria (ar-MER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: maritima (muh-RIT-tim-muh) (Info)

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

32 members have or want this plant for trade.

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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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11 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive akprovgardener On Oct 10, 2011, akprovgardener from Anchorage, AK wrote:

armeria maritima has worked in tough areas around our campus where salt is a problem from icemelt. It works best around rocks where the warming effect will pull the snow away from it and start it earlier. It works both in sunny and semishaded areas. We have a real tough area where we are going to try it next year. We shall see if it takes it . We also ransplanted it into different locations with good success
Eric C Finkbeiner Anchorage Alaska

Positive lilhanna On Jul 31, 2011, lilhanna from Potomac, MD wrote:

This plant is a survivor. I've grown it in Maryland where it was started from seed and bloomed the first year and on the coast of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia where it is lush in a rock garden setting. It does far better near the sea. It is probably easier to start plants from seed than to divide. I did the latter and the clumps sulked for weeks. Seed I collected a couple of days ago appears to be germinating in peat pellets.

Neutral soldiersong On Oct 25, 2010, soldiersong from North Plains, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

For several years this plant will grow into an attractive round clump with pretty pink flowers that bloom all summer if deadheaded.

However, after about four years the center of the plant dies, leaving an ugly brown patch in the center. I've tried digging a plug and planting it in that spot to no avail. Now I dig up and divide a plant after the center dies and re-plant one of the division in the spot I dug out the original. Rather a pain, but it works.

Positive AmyMorie On Aug 15, 2010, AmyMorie from Green Cove Springs, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Great little carefree accent in los Angeles CA. I used it with succulents in a rock garden.

Positive SealHarborWinthrop On Jul 28, 2010, SealHarborWinthrop from Winthrop, MA wrote:

I purchased seven Sea Thrift plants from my local nursery in late April because of the pretty pink & white flowers. I planted them in railing planters on my eighth floor deck in full sun. My home is on the ocean on the Massachusetts shoreline. The air is salty and on the eighth floor there is many a windy day. The Sea Thrift has produced many, many flowers that seem to last forever. First they are pink then turn white and the salt air and wind seem to keep them healthy. My neighbors have complemented me on them. Although I was told not to fertilize, I did and they seem to be producing a lot of new flowers. The planters are well drained and in full sun. I love these low maintenace plants. Highly recommended.

Neutral akaporn On Jun 8, 2010, akaporn from North Hollywood, CA wrote:

I saw they plant the whole bed with Sea Pink at the Getty Villa in Malibu. I'd like to try the same thing. I ordered a package of 100 seeds. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Positive bonehead On Nov 29, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a native to the Pacific NW. Good edging plant, with jolly hot pink balls throughout the summer. Easy to divide, best used in masses.

Positive jeff0452 On May 10, 2009, jeff0452 from Rio Rancho, NM wrote:

We planted this late last year, and it is already starting to flower. Plant it where someone will not mistake it for grass while it is not flowering and pull it out, as the leaves make it look like a clump of thickly-bladed grass. A great low plant for the front of the border in a sunny, dry spot.

Positive welchavw On Mar 30, 2007, welchavw from Germantown, MD wrote:

This is a very nice compact plant for my border. I am considering locating it alongside some primrose in a second location because I like it so much. I am also trying to propagate it via seed this year. The USDA site says that this plant is not toxic - I am not sure why there is a discrepancy.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 24, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love this little flower, but I have to guard it when it's not in bloom. It looks so much like grass that it has nearly been weeded out by other family members. Before it ever bloomed I was pretty unsure myself.

I have read that it is hardy in zones 3-9, but that it needs more shade in hotter climates. Soaking seeds aids germination.

Follow-up: I will have to get another plant, as this was in an area that was a little too moist, and it did not survive the winter. I cannot stress enough, do not over-water.

Positive droughtlover On Jan 17, 2006, droughtlover from Igo, CA wrote:

A California (other states?) native. Foliage has the appearance of a dense, low-growing ornamental grass. I use it successfully on dry banks and in rock garden conditions. Deer have nibbled at the flowers and the tops of the foliage, but have not completely destroyed the plant.

Positive Ladyfern On Aug 4, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

Cute little plants for edging or rock gardens. Fairly easy from seed, blooming the second year. Good cut flowers.

Positive darius On Jul 28, 2002, darius from So.App.Mtns.
United States (Zone 5b) wrote:

My sea thrift (probably 'laucheana' with bright pink flowers) is now about 4 years old and will need division early next spring as the middle is starting to rot out (much like Artemisia Silver Mound tends to do). Profuse spring and early summer bloomer if kept daily deadheaded. The low, dense, mounded tuft is a great textural accent to a rock garden even after blooming.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Thrift or sea pink is a compact, low-growing plant which forms a dense, mounded tuft of stiff, linear, grass-like, dark green leaves (to 4" tall). Tufts will spread slowly to 8-12" wide. Tiny, pink to white flowers bloom in mid spring in globular clusters (3/4-1" wide) atop slender, naked stalks rising well above the foliage to 6-10" tall. Sporadic additional flowering may occur throughout the summer. Flower clusters are subtended by purplish, papery bracts. In the wild, thrift or sea pink commonly grows in saline environments along coastal areas where few other plants can grow well, hence the common name.

Neutral gardener_mick On Nov 25, 2000, gardener_mick from Wentworth, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:

Armeria maritima is a perennial in zones 3-8. It has round clusters of small flowers held above tufted mounds of narrow, needle-shaped leaves. They grow from 6 to 12" tall. The flowers bloom from May to June and need full sun and well-drained to sandy soil. The plants will rot if planted in fertile, moist soils.
Extra water is needed during dry spells and mulch of straw or pine needles should be used in winter. They do well in hot, humid areas and are tolerant of seaside locations.
Plants are great for rock gardens, edgings, or massed together.

'Alba'- dwarf (5"), white
'Bloodstone'- bright red
'Laucheana'- dark green foliage with bright pink flowers


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anchorage, Alaska
Brentwood, California
Carlsbad, California
Clayton, California
Dana Point, California
Duarte, California
Eureka, California
Fairfield, California
Fremont, California
Igo, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Manteca, California
Merced, California
North Hollywood, California
Salinas, California
San Diego, California
Temple City, California
Alpharetta, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Inwood, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
Elkton, Maryland
Germantown, Maryland
Potomac, Maryland
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Quincy, Massachusetts
Winthrop, Massachusetts
Eastpointe, Michigan
Mason, Michigan
Munsonville, New Hampshire
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Campbell Hall, New York
Coshocton, Ohio
Painesville, Ohio
Ashland, Oregon
Dallas, Oregon
North Plains, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
The Dalles, Oregon
Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania
Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Arlington, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Garland, Texas
Plano, Texas
Orlean, Virginia
Bellevue, Washington
Liberty, West Virginia
Morgantown, West Virginia
Porterfield, Wisconsin
Rice Lake, Wisconsin

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