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Santolina chamaecyparissus

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© RHS 1998

Characteristics

Plant type

Shrub

Habit

Bushy

Fragrance

Leaf

Resilience

Hardiness

H5 (hardy - cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Yellow in Summer

Foliage

Green and Grey/Silver in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.5-1 metres

Time to ultimate height

5-10 years


Preferred common name

lavender cotton

Family

Asteraceae


Santolina are aromatic, dwarf evergreen shrubs with entire or pinnately dissected leaves and dense, button-like flower-heads in summer

S. chamaecyparissus is a dwarf evergreen shrub with narrow, silvery-woolly, much dissected leaves and long-stalked, button-like bright yellow flowerheads 2cm in width

Other common names

  • cotton lavender
  • French lavender
  • ground cypress

Synonym(s)

  • Chamaecyparissus africanus
  • Santolina incana

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Easy to grow evergreen sub-shrub that thrives in hot, sunny, well-drained sites. Useful as a dwarf-hedging substitute although they can be short-lived. Trim back after flowering to maintain a dense, compact shrub

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed or semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Gravel Garden, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean Climate Plants, Patio/Container Plants or Wall-side Borders


How to care

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free