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Santolina (san-toh-lye-nuh); Asteraceae Family. Gray-leaved, low growing, evergreen shrubs, Santolina has inconspicuous flowers and aromatic leaves. From the Mediterranean region, its useful in the rock garden, the herb garden and as a border. Ordinary garden soil, good drainage and full sun are needed.

Santolina chamaecyparissus (kam-ee-sip-ar-iss-us), lavender cotton, a very attractive plant, shrubby with many small branches; 1 to 2 feet high, cool looking in the brightest sun because of the grayness, in moonlight, its coral like branches reflect the moon’s rays. The small, pale yellow inconspicuous florets, ½ inch across, bloom in July and August. In addition to its garden uses, lavender cotton is very effective in winter arrangements, for it form and its continuing fragrance.

Santolina virens (vye-renz) a spreading form with narrow linear green leaves, cream-toned flowers. Excellent for edging.

Ideal for arid sites, though it will grow in more temperate regions. Prefers dry, low-fertility or sandy soil. Use as a groundcover, as edging along paths, walks, or patios; for low shrub borders; as an ornamental or foundation plant, in mass on a slope, or in containers; also an excellent topiary specimen.

Drought, rabbit and salt spray tolerant; avoid excess fertilization; prune after flowering.

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