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Plant of the Week: Sea Lavender

By Manuel Alarcon | July 31, 2018

Limonium platyphyllum, or sea lavender, is a clump-forming perennial native to southeastern and central Europe. It blooms July through August and reveals hundreds of tiny, lavender-blue flowers at the ends of thin, wire-like stems. Despite its common name, it is not related to lavenders at all. True lavenders are in the Lamiaceae family, while sea lavender is in the Plumbaginaceae family. It got the common name sea lavender because many species originate in coastal habitats and are tolerant of conditions you would find along coasts, such as salt, wind, and sandy soils. This makes them well-suited to seaside gardens, or other exposed sites with poor, saline, or alkaline soils.

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Sea lavender is an excellent choice as a dried or cut flower because it keeps its form and color. Even as cold weather comes along, their browning flowers stay attached, which helps soften the winter texture of the High Line.

L. platyphyllum is pretty low maintenance. It is not known to have bad pest or disease issues, but we have seen black aphids on them here on the High Line in the past. It is also been noted that it will self-seed readily if left undisturbed, so you might have to keep an eye on that.

L. platyphyllum grows best in sandy soil, but can tolerate any well-drained soil in full sun. Ensure good air circulation to minimize susceptibility to crown and root rot. It does well in USDA Zones 3 through 9.

As August rounds the corner, keep an eye out for the lavender clouds of L. platyphyllum in the Wildflower Field, between 27th and 29th Streets.

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew up between rail tracks after the trains stopped running in the 1980s. Today, the High Line includes more than 500 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees – each chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today. Every week we share one of our gardeners’ current favorites with you.

Our horticultural team counts on members and friends like you to help keep the High Line beautiful and thriving. Join our community of supporters who play an essential role in the High Line’s most important gardening projects.

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TD Bank is the Presenting Green Sponsor of the High Line.