Armeria is a genus of flowering plants in the Plumbaginaceae family. These plants are sometimes known as "lady's cushion", "thrift", or "sea pink" (the latter because as they are often found on coastlines). The genus counts over a hundred species, mostly native to the Mediterranean, although Armeria maritima is an exception, being distributed along the coasts of the Northern Hemisphere, including Ireland, parts of the United Kingdom such as Cornwall, and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales. Some are popular with gardeners as rockery plants.
The garden hybrid illustrated here is Armeria 'Bees Ruby', which is a delightful clump forming evergreen plant ideal for edging, container culture or simply adding colour to the front of garden beds and rockeries. Tall, leafless stems of deep cerise coloured flowers cluster together to form impressive round globes from late winter through spring which last well if cut for fresh posies. The attractive foliage comprises of broader leaves than normally found in this family providing an interesting textural presence year round.
Armerias are a hardy perennial found in a range of soil types and climatic conditions around the world ranging from storm-swept coastal zones through to alpine meadows. They prefer a full sun position in a friable, well drained soil. Although dry tolerant once established occasional deep watering through extended periods of heat will maintain a more robust performance. No pruning required although removing spent flower stems will encourage further displays. Feed with a slow release fertiliser in spring.
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