Perez’s sea lavender adds a great splash of purple to the seashore

Statice (sea lavender) growing along La Jolla’s coastal bluffs. Photos by Kelly Stewart
Statice (sea lavender) growing along La Jolla’s coastal bluffs. Photos by Kelly Stewart

The first day of spring has just passed and that means we are about to be surrounded by the most beautiful wildflowers (and cultivated flowers) along our seashore.

The bluffs are brightening with color and one plant that is beginning to thrive again is Perez’s sea lavender, also known as statice (Limonium perezii).

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Statice (sea lavender) growing along La Jolla’s coastal bluffs. Photos by Kelly Stewart
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Statice (sea lavender) growing along La Jolla’s coastal bluffs.

This plant, native to the Canary Islands (however common similar species exist almost everywhere throughout the Mediterranean and elsewhere), has

become naturalized in our county and now grows wild in disturbed areas, along roadways and along the seashore. Its ability to flourish in salty soil makes it able to survive along the very edge of the ocean.

Sea lavender, which is a perennial that propagates through rhizomes (root structures), has bright green leaves and flowers that are bunched at the top of a long stalk — the flowers are made up of tiny purple sepals and white petals. Papery to the touch when alive, statice makes an excellent plant for dried flower arrangements, as it will keep its brilliant color for many months.

   
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