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Matted Sea-lavender

Limonium bellidifolium

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Plumbaginaceae (Thrift)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, rocky places, saltmarshes, sand dunes, seaside.

Purple, 5 petals
The inflorescence consists of compact spikes of purple flowers.
A one-seeded capsule.
A compact, evergreen, mat-forming perennial flower with zigzagged branches and oblong to spoon-shaped, dark green, untoothed leaves. The stems are wiry. Matted Sea-lavender is smaller than Common Sea-lavender (Limonium vulgare) and much more scarce.
Other Names:
Daisy-leaved Sea Lavendar.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Limonium bellidifolium, also known as "daisy-leaved sea lavender" is a species of flowering plant in the plumbaginaceae family. It is native to Mediterranean and Macaronesia. It is a perennial plant that can grow up to 60 cm tall. The leaves are linear and the flowers are small, white or blue and they form spikes. It requires well-drained soils, and full sun exposure, it is drought and salt tolerant, it is often used as a ornamental plant in rock gardens, and coastal gardens.


Limonium bellidifolium, commonly known as Matted Sea-lavender, is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the Plumbaginaceae family. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region, including parts of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Matted Sea-lavender has small, lavender-colored flowers that bloom in dense clusters atop a mat of basal leaves. The leaves are oval-shaped and have a slightly succulent texture, which helps the plant retain water in hot, dry environments. The flowers are fragrant and attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

One of the most remarkable features of Matted Sea-lavender is its adaptability to different soil types, including poor, sandy soils. It is a drought-tolerant plant, making it an excellent choice for gardens in regions with low rainfall. It also does well in coastal regions where it can withstand salt spray and strong winds.

Matted Sea-lavender is a great addition to rock gardens, border plantings, and containers. It can also be used as a ground cover due to its mat-forming habit. The plant is easy to grow and requires minimal maintenance, making it an ideal choice for novice gardeners.

To grow Matted Sea-lavender, it is best to plant it in well-draining soil with full sun exposure. The plant is tolerant of a wide range of pH levels, but it prefers neutral to alkaline soil. Watering should be infrequent, but the plant should not be allowed to completely dry out.

Propagation of Matted Sea-lavender can be done through division or cuttings. To propagate by division, the plant should be divided in the spring or fall, and the resulting clumps can be replanted. Cuttings can be taken in the summer, rooted in a sandy medium, and transplanted in the fall.

Matted Sea-lavender is a beautiful and versatile plant that is well-suited to a variety of garden settings. Its adaptability, drought tolerance, and low-maintenance requirements make it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. With its attractive foliage and fragrant flowers, this plant is sure to add a touch of beauty to any garden.

Aside from its ornamental value, Matted Sea-lavender has been traditionally used in herbal medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The plant is rich in essential oils and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it useful in the treatment of skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. It is also used as a diuretic and can be helpful in treating urinary tract infections.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Matted Sea-lavender has also been used in traditional cuisine. In parts of the Mediterranean, the plant's leaves are used to flavor dishes such as soups, stews, and salads. The leaves can also be dried and used to make tea.

Matted Sea-lavender is also an important plant in coastal ecosystems, as it plays a role in stabilizing sand dunes and preventing erosion. It provides habitat and food for a variety of coastal wildlife, including birds and insects.

In recent years, Matted Sea-lavender has gained popularity among gardeners and landscapers as a sustainable alternative to traditional lawn grasses. Its low water requirements, tolerance for poor soils, and ability to withstand harsh conditions make it an ideal choice for creating low-maintenance, eco-friendly landscapes.

Matted Sea-lavender is a fascinating and versatile plant with a rich history and numerous uses. Whether you're looking to add beauty to your garden, improve your health, or help protect the environment, this plant is definitely worth considering.

One interesting aspect of Matted Sea-lavender is its taxonomy. The genus Limonium is a relatively small group of plants that are primarily found in coastal regions around the world. There are over 350 species of Limonium, many of which are adapted to harsh, salt-sprayed environments.

Limonium bellidifolium is one of the few species in the genus that is not strictly coastal. While it does grow in coastal regions, it is also found in rocky, inland areas. This adaptability is reflected in the plant's common name, "Matted Sea-lavender," which refers to its resemblance to true sea-lavenders (genus Limonium), despite its broader ecological range.

Another interesting aspect of Matted Sea-lavender is its association with mythology and folklore. In ancient Greek mythology, Limonium species were thought to be the food of the gods, and were said to have grown on the shores of the River Styx, which separated the world of the living from the world of the dead. In some cultures, the plant was also associated with love and fidelity, and was said to bring good luck to newlyweds.

Today, Matted Sea-lavender continues to be a popular plant in many parts of the world. Its attractive flowers and foliage, adaptability, and low-maintenance requirements make it a great choice for anyone looking to add beauty and interest to their garden or landscape. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this versatile plant is definitely worth considering for your next project.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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