Underused in Australian gardens Santolina are a Sun Loving plant commonly called Lavender Cotton. Best know for the species Santolina chamaecyparissus, an excellent plant for a dry garden, however many other species and named cultivars are worth exploring as well.
Naturally growing in dry conditions, often in poor soil, however thriving as a great garden plant under slightly better conditions. Some species are grown for the foliage, however these great little plants can also provide a mass of flowers as well.
This group of evergreen perennial shrubs are often referred to as Cotton lavender, Santolina are a useful garden plant that cope well with hot dry conditions and will form dense small bushes.
A small flowering shrubs that grow to .5m, Santolina are a dry tolerant plant that prefer full sun. Look for S.rosemarinifolia a yellow flowering Green species and S. chamaecyparissus Var Nana, a grey/silver foliage plant.
A number of species are sometimes used in ‘Knot Gardens’ and Boxford International Gardens in Canberra has a fine example.
Species and Varieties
Santolina virens is known as Green Santolina. S neapolitana ‘Edward Bowles’ is a popular ornamental species. S. incana is another available for sale online from participating nurseries.
While S. virens is called ‘Green Cotton lavender’ the cultivar, S. virens ‘Lemon Fizz’ comes with bright yellow foliage. Mound forming and growing to 20cm 18″ S. virens ‘Lemon Fizz’ a bright addition to the garden.
Did you know ?
S. rosmarinifolia is known as the ‘Olive Herb’. The foliage is used for flavouring salads, and yes it tastes like olives.
Santolina Plants are available from the following nurseries
Large range of Rare, Unusual and Old Fashioned Perennials. Includes Artemisias, Achilleas, Geraniums, Geums, Salvias, Penstemon and Francoa.
Medicinal, Teas and Kitchen Herbs. Edible plants, scented and ornamentals.
Wide range of perennial edibles and medicinals, berries, fruit and unusual food plants, by mail order.
395 Lesters Rd Ascot VIC 3364 - phone (03) 53434303
Specialising in beautiful perennials & bulbs including new releases from Europe & USA. Many hardy, rare & difficult to find ‘drought hardy’ plants, quality vegetable & flower seeds.
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.