Sea Lavender: Limonium Carolinianum

by andisutton

Brief notes on planting environment and care:

Region: Coastal Plain
States: Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia
Plant Type: Herbaceous
Height: 0.5 – 2 feet
Spreads: None
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Texture: Clay, Loamy, Sandy
Soil Moisture: Moist, Wet
pH: 6 – 8.5
Salin: 0 – 30
Blooms in: July to October
Bloom Color: lavender
Bears Fruit: None
Evergreen: no
Ground Cover: no
Habitat:
irregularly flooded high salt marsh
Salin: 0 – 30
Wildlife Use: Bees

Key challenge is that sea lavender prefers high salt marsh, therefore roots need to be  in well-drained, sandy soil.  Construction apparatus could create high ground for the lavender, and could be surrounded by cord grass on the lower sections.   It is tolerant of salt, so occasional innundations or waves would be fine.  We may want to include a fresh water irrigation system that collects rainwater and (perhaps) has a drip-line into the sea lavender bed.  Several sites note that it is hard to find in nurseries, and so is often collected from marshes themselves.   But I believe that the nursery in Quincy does sell sea lavender (see earlier notes.)

Description
Sea lavender is one of the East Coast’sbeautiful coastal plants. Its tall, thin stems often have reddish tinge and grow 6 to 24 inches high. Sea lavender has dark green, leathery, spoon-shaped leaves that grow in a circular pattern at the base of its stem. Its branches produce small, fragrant, pale purple flowers along one side. Sea lavender flowers originate from basal leaves that rise up directly from the plant’s roots. The leaves of the Sea lavender grow upward along its stem in sheaths, forming a tubular envelope that surrounds the stem. The sheath causes the flower to appear alternately and delicately arranged.
Life History and Growth
Sea lavender is a flowering plant found in the high salt marsh and generally grows in association with salt hay grass. Sea lavender is a perennial and remains for years once it becomes established. The first sea lavender flowers can be seen in July and flowering continues into August.

Information about salinity levels and plant varieties

Information about limonium

 

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