Scientific: Santolina chamaecyparissus
Common: lavender cotton
Family: Asteraceae
Origin: Native to the Mediterranean, including Spain and Morocco.

Pronounciation: San-to-LEE-na cha-ma-e-ci-PAR-is-sus

Hardiness zones
Sunset
All as annual, perennial in zones 8-24
USDA All as annual, perennial in zones 8-11

Landscape Use: Low border or edging plant for aromatic gardens and gray color accent.

Form & Character: Evergreen woody subshrub, mounding, clean, refined and unobtrusive.

Growth Habit: Slow to 2 feet in height but with light shearing can be maintained at 1 foot tall with a greater spread.

Foliage/Texture: Sessile, small highly pinntified aromatic, gray leaves to 1/2 inch long; fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Yellow button flowers on 6 to 12 inch peduncles in spring, not necessarily attractive and should be sheared to oblivion when they appear in order to preserve the elegance of the clean, mounding form.

Seasonal Color: None

Temperature: Cold tolerant to 0oF and heat tolerant to 115oF.

Light: Full sun, no shade.

Soil: Tolerant of various soil chemistrys, BUT the soil MUST be well drained! Sandy soils are best.

Watering: Infrequent once established, more frequent during summer.

Pruning: Periodic shearing will maintain an attractive dense habit. As written above, make sure to shear off flowers in the later spring to preserve the tight growth habit.

Propagation: Softwood cuttings, easy to propagate from seed too.

Disease and pests: Fungal root and basal crown rot is a problem if soil is poorly drained.

Additional comments: In Phoenix, lavendar cotton is a nice, aromatic, perennial sub-shrub for oasis and xeric gardens with drip irrigation, fertilize rarely. The leaves can be used in flavoring sauces or dried in Pot-pourri. It is also thought to be deer and rabbit resistant. This attractive border plant tends to look best when young. The species name 'chamaecyparissus' means 'dwarf cypress' .

The green Santolina is named Santolina rosmarinifolia.