Thrift (Armeria Maritima) | Turf Online Knowledge Base

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Thrift (Armeria Maritima)

Key facts about Thrift aka Sea Pink

  • Height: up to 30cm
  • Flowering Time: April – October
  • Flower colour: Baby pink
  • Growth habit: Tuft forming evergreen
  • Habitat: coastal habitats, shingle beaches, heathland, around abandoned metal mines, riverside shingle
  • Appears in: Cottage Garden Meadowmat    Heritage Mix Meadowmat


pink flowers of thrift growing on coastal site

One of the prettiest UK wildflowers. Thrift is also known as sea pink or sea lavender and has such lovely pom-pom shaped flowers that it’s often used as a garden plant.

Leaves are long and narrow and feel spiky to the touch. This is their self-defence mechanism to protect them from strong and salty winds. These little plants are found on nearly every British Coastline and are particularly happy on the west coast. The Lizard in Cornwall turns pink with these flowers every spring!

Uses for Thrift

This awesome little plant is incredibly deep rooting and can cope with the harshest of conditions. It doesn’t mind free-draining soil because it can dig deep to access water. It can even cope with road salt.

Thrift belongs to a plant family called Plumbaginaceae (plum-ag-in-ay-see). During the industrial revolution, people believed that all the plants in this family could cure lead poisoning. Which is why thrift is so often found on the site of old lead mines.

Plant this little flower in alpine gardens to enjoy them as individuals or bring them into the cottage garden – the bees will love you for it.  Personally, I think thrift is second only to lavender as an edging plant. You can also dry the flowers to use in indoor arrangements.

Thrift in Meadowmat

We’ve included Thrift in Cottage Garden Meadowmat   and  Heritage Mix Meadowmat for lots of good reasons

  • Drought tolerant, copes with harsh conditions
  • Attractive to pollinating insects
  • Colour compliments the pink, blue and white colourways of most of our wildflowers
  • Low growing
  • Not too fussy about soil type
  • Frost hardy
  • Evergreen – adds extra winter interest

Want to learn more about Meadowmat?

Read the article “What Is Meadowmat?”