Plant of the Month for September 2009

Armeria caespitosa; photo by Todd Boland
Armeria caespitosa

Description and general information

This species of thrift is one of many found throughout the Mediterranean region. This specific species is a narrow endemic found in three regions of the Spanish Pyrenees including the Ayllon, Guadarrama and East Gredos Ranges. Here, they grow at an elevation of between 1700-2430 m. The native rock in their distributional range is granite and gneiss.

This species is also known in the trade by its synonym name A. juniperifolia. Plants form rounded buns generally under 10 cm in height. They are ideal for any rockery and admirable plants for troughs. There are at least three known cultivars


This species requires a well-drained, sunny site. In the wild, they grow upon granitic rock with acidic soil reaction however, they seem to be reasonably tolerant to alkaline soil. Armeria ceaspitosa is rated hardy to zone 3.

Bloom period

April-May, but into June in northern areas. Plants sometimes produce a secondary flush of blooms later in summer.


Seed, cuttings


Seed may be direct sown at room temperature with no stratification required. Fresh seed germinate best.


Possible immediately after blooming but can be challenging if plants form a taproot.


Single rosette cuttings may be taken immediately after flowering


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