Armeria welwitschii, or Thrift, is a small, low growing, evergreen perennial that is native to the coast of Portugal. It has lanceolate leaves that reach up to 4 inches (10 cm) long by ½ inch (.7 cm) wide. The plant will reach 12 inches (30 cm) in height and will form dense clumps up to 1 foot (30 cm) wide. They are a good plant for rock gardens and are hardy in USDA zones 8-12.
Blooming Time: In late spring to early summer the plants are adorned with long-lasting pink and white flowers in dense inflorescences. Individual flowers are up to ½ inch (.7 cm) across and seen en masse are quite showy.
Culture: Armeria welwitschii need full sun to light shade with a well drained soil mix. In containers, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. The plants are watered and allowed to dry thoroughly before watering again. Plants are fertilized only once during the growing season with a dilute fertilizer at ½ the strength recommended on the label. If grown in the landscape, the plants are not fussy about soil, as long as it is well drained. During the winter months in the greenhouse, we move the plants to the cool room, which is kept about 48°F (9°C) and water is restricted.
Propagation: Armeria welwitschii is propagated by division or from seed in the spring. Seed germinate in 14-21 days at 68°F (20°C).
Armeria welwitschii was featured as Plant of the Week June 4-10, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.