Lavender Cotton

27 Feb

Lavender Cotton  (Santolina), 1 to 3 feet, yellow ball like flowers in summer, likes poor soil, sun and low water, deer resistant, great cut flower.

These Mediterranean natives are notable for their attractive foliage, profuse summer show of small, round, button-like flower heads, and stout constitutions. All are aromatic if bruised.

Unpruned plants tend to become sparse and woody in the center. Cut back yearly, before spring growth begins; you can simply trim as needed around the edges (as if giving the plant a haircut) or cut the whole plant back to a few inches high. After blossoms fade, shear or clip off flowering shoots. In coldest part of range, plants may die to the ground, but they should grow back from roots.

Good as ground covers, bank covers, edgings for walks or borders, low informal or sheared hedges. Grow in any well-drained soil.

Santolina chamaecyparissus

To 2 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide. Brittle, woody stems are densely clothed with rough, finely divided, whitish gray leaves. Bright yellow flower heads.

Santolina pinnata

Grows 2 to 2 1/2 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide, with narrow, tooth-edged, dark green leaves and cream-colored flowers.

Santolina pinnata neapolitana

This subspecies grows 12 to 15 in. tall. Its narrow, toothed, silvery leaves give rise to yellow flowers.

Santolina rosmarinifolia

Grows to 2 ft. tall, 3 ft. wide, with narrow green leaves like those of rosemary. Leaves may have tiny teeth or none at all. Bright yellow flowers.

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