Santolina chamaecyparissus (Lavender Cotton)
In a world where varying shades of lush green foliage reigns supreme, the silver gray foliage of Santolina chamaecyparissus stands out in the crowd. This tried and true herbaceous perennial is part of the Asteraceae Family, which is a very large and widespread family of flowering plants. The slender, silver-gray leaves of Santolina are finely divided and have a slightly fuzzy texture. In the spring and summer, cheery golden-yellow button flowers appear, attracting beneficial pollinators to the garden. The contrast of the silver leaves and golden flowers really stands out and is visible from a long distance away.
Santolina chamaecyparissus is very drought tolerant once established, preferring dry summer conditions. It grows 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide, and is an excellent choice for slopes, beds and borders. It does well along coastal bluffs, tolerating the wind and salt spray of the ocean. (A good companion plant for these conditions is Armeria maritima ‘Splendens’.) It is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance other than a once-yearly pruning to maintain its shape and encourage new growth. Plant in full to part sun. The Sunset Climate Zones are 2-24; H1, H2. We are growing Santolina chamaecyparissus in 1 gallon containers. Visit our website at www.clearwatercolor.com to see photos of these and many other plants we are growing.