Thrift Armeria maritima

Status
Best Time to See
Colour
Habitat

"And the purple Thrift , straightest and primmest of flowers."

- Caroline Gilan, "Let Us Go to the Woods"

Description

This perky pink wildflower has been a favourite of gardeners since the 16th century. However, there is nothing to match seeing it in its natural habitat: atop dramatic coastal cliffs or astride craggy islands.

How to spot it

Globular heads of pink flowers have stalks 5-30cm long. Flattened, linear, dark green leaves.

Where it grows

Across wild, coastal areas throughout the UK - especially Scotland. As well as rocky cliffs, Thrift can also be commonly found brightening up saltmarshes and other sandy areas.

Best time to see

April to July when it flowers.

Cultural info

  • County Flower of Bute, the Isles of Scilly and Pembrokeshire/Sir Benfro.
  • In the Language of Flowers thrift stands for sympathy.

How's it doing?

Has started to appear inland on roadsides as salting creates favourable conditions.

3 things you might not know

  • In Gaelic thrift is known as tonna chladaich, meaning 'beach wave'. In Welsh it is called clustog fair, Mary's pillow.
  • It is also known as Sea Pink, Rock Rose and Our Ladies Cushion.
  • Thrift was used as an emblem on the threepenny-bit between 1937 and 1953 - the Mint no doubt aware of the double meaning in its name.

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