Thrift Armeria maritima
|Best Time to See|
"And the purple Thrift , straightest and primmest of flowers."
- Caroline Gilan, "Let Us Go to the Woods"
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.
- 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.