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How to grow Armeria (ar-meer-e-a)

This genus has retained the old Latin name for pink although it is not related 2 to the true pink, a species of dianthus (Plumbaginaceae). Perennials mainly for the rock garden though the taller kinds are sometimes used at the front of the herbaceous border. They all need well-drained, sunny positions and grow well in seaside gardens; the common thrift, in fact, grows wild in extensive colonies on cliffs by the sea.

Species cultivated A. caespitosa, 2 inches, a true alpine so it must have good drainage, flowers pale lilac in early summer, a good plant for the alpine house; vars. alba, flowers white; rubra, ruby-red. A. corsica, 6 inches, brick-red. A. maritima, the common thrift or sea pink, 6 inches, flowers pink in early summer. There are good varieties of this species such as laucheana, 9 inches, bright red flowers; nana alba, with large, white flowers in May and June; 'Merlin', rich pink, and `Vindictive', masses of reddish-pink flowers. A. pseudoarmeria, sea pink, thrift, 1 foot, a handsome plant for the herbaceous border; the bright rose-coloured flowers appear in June. The cultivar `Bees Ruby' was developed from this species and is taller, at 2 feet, and bears rounded heads of deep rose flowers in early summer. A. splendens, 3-4 inches, pale pink, summer.

Cultivation Any good, sandy loam suits these plants which must have well-drained positions either in the herbaceous border or on the rock garden. Propagate by division of roots in autumn or spring when they should also be planted. Seeds can be sown in spring in sandy soil.

 



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