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Limonium tatarica, L.. caspium, L. latifolia...and others
There are several perennial statice flowers to grow for cutting and for drying. They make wonderful filler for fresh and for everlasting bouquets.
All of them handle fairly tough conditions—periods of drought, full sun, hot temperatures. And they all make nice additions to a perennial or landscape bed.
All belong to the genus Limonium, with the exception of German statice which has been classified by several names.
This page will focus on sea lavender (Limonium latifolia), German statice (L. tatarica), caspia (L. caspium), and Siberian statice (L. gleminii). For annual statice go here.
Sadly, these plants are not commonly found in nurseries, though you may find them from a smaller specialty grower. So you’ll need to start them from seed. But they’re perennial, so start them once and you’ll have them for the long run…they’re all long-lived…and tough.
The various perennial statice species come from coastal desert environments of the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, and in Central Asia. Except for some natives to North America (see Special Info below).
The names of these different statice plants often get very mixed up online, so I will keep the names straight and accurate.
The most common statice is the annual statice, Limonium sinuata. This is sold as an annual but in warmer climates, Zones 7 and up, it overwinters just fine—even under snow and through hard frosts. You’ll find this plant in the annual flowers section.
All statice is easy to grow, tolerates tough conditions like drought, heat, and often deer. For deer it depends on what the “deer pressure”. Where I am, we have very high deer pressure, so I grow all my statice in a fenced area. With less pressure you may be fine.
All of these make great bouquet filles…except for German statice, which is best reserved for dried florals.
Flowers and Plants
All statice flowers are attractive to pollinators, especially butterflies and to beneficial insects.
Flowers of the perennial statice plants are smaller and more delicate than the annual statice. They’re spaced out more along their stems. All have evergreen foliage.
Flowers bloom in early summer. They have only one round of bloom.
Sea Lavender: Limonium latifolia (Zone 3), small blue-purple flowers on a tall stem up to 2 ½ ft tall, leaves form a rosette at the base and the stems rise up creating a cloud of flowers above the plant.
German Statice: Goes by either Limonium tatarica, L. dumosum or dumosa, Goniolimon tataricum or tatarica which is confusing!(Zone 4) It has a basal rosette of leaves at the bottom. Many stems grow to about 20 – 30 in., much branched, with flowers all along them. The calyx is always a silvery white, and is the showy part that remains when dried. The flower in the calyx can be either white or pink, each plant is different. The branches curve downward making them perfect for wreath making and dried florals, but rarely good for using as a filler for fresh bouquets.
Caspia: Limonium caspium (Zone 3), grows to 40 in tall with very small basal leaves at the bottom. The flower stems are finely divided and covered with tiny lavender-purple flowers. This is one of the ‘misty’ statices, it has a delicate air and is perfect as a bouquet filler, and is great dried.
Siberian Statice: L. gmelinii, (Zone 3) grows to 20 in. Has a basal set of leaves that are rounded, each plant produces 10-12 stems which are well-branched with lots of mauve-purple flowers. This is the best perennial statice for dried use in a vase as its stems are thick with flowers. It’s another one of the ‘misty’ types with its cloud of blooms.
Growing the Plants
All statice plants tolerate periods of drought and heat, soil that is not too rich is fine, but with good drainage is best.
They like full sun but can tolerate part shade.
Despite their popularity with florists and crafters, they’re rarely available in any nursery…so you’ll need to start them from seed. Their one requirement is that they need light to germinate…at least that’s what they all say. When I sow them in my Speedling trays I sow as normal. They are narrow so they wouldn’t need to be planted very deep anyway. And unless the seed is too old, or a bad batch, I get great germination. But I do germinate them I strong outdoor sun which I’m sure helps.
These flowers are super easy to harvest. Just cut the stem at its base. Cut them when their flowers are about 70 – 80% open.
The stems are all quite stiff so you don’t need to hang upside down. They can be placed in a vase to look pretty while they dry.
Cut of all the flower stems to keep the plant looking nice—unless you’re going to harvest seeds.
There are few varieties of perennial statice. I’ve found the best selection of seeds so far, at Hazzard’s where they have two varieties of caspia:
L. caspium Spangle and
L. caspium Dazzling Blue. This year, 2023, will be my first to try these two.
It’s been years since I’ve even grown caspia…so I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
How Many Plants
These plants are small so you can squeeze a lot into your garden. Except you may not want too many German statice plants because they produce a lot. Unless you’re a dried floral crafter you can easily have too many.
There used to be more perennial seed sources a couple of decades ago. So I’m always happy to find a seed supplier that has at least some of them.
Hazzard’s : This is my newest find and the first time I’ve found caspia seeds in a very long time. They have a nice variety of perennial statice seeds.
Swallowtail Garden Seeds: Sea Lavender and German Statice
The Thyme Garden: Sea Lavender
There are at least two perennial statice species native to North America.
One is Western Marsh Rosemary, L. californicum, that lives in the coastal San Francisco Bay area and from the coast LA down into very northern Baja.
The other is Carolina Sea Lavender, L. carolinianum from North Carolina.
There’s also L. perezii that comes from the Canary Islands. It was introduced to coastal California and has naturalized along the coast on the bluffs in Southern California.
If you are a crafter, please grow your perennial statice plants rather than harvesting native ones. The seeds are essential to keep the plant population going strong, and the flowers may provide essential pollen and nectar for pollinators.