Armeria maritima subsp. californica (Mill.) Willd. (Boiss.) A.E. Porsild
thrift (California seapink)
Plumbaginaceae (Leadwort family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jeremy Gatten     (Photo ID #24585)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Armeria maritima subsp. californica
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a taproot; stems erect, solitary or several, simple, smooth, 10-50 cm tall.
Basal leaves linear, smooth to fringed and hairy, entire, 5-10 cm long, 1-3 mm wide, persistent, stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of dense, head-like flower clusters, 1.5-3 cm wide; flowers short-stalked in clusters of 3, subtended by 2 transparent bracts; corollas pinkish to lavender, deeply 5-lobed; calyces pinkish to lavender, 5-6 mm long, soft-hairy, 10 veined, longer than the corollas; outer involucral bracts purplish with papery margins.
Utricles, small, dry, 1-chambered; seeds 1.
Two subspecies are recognized in BC:

1. Outer involucral bracts narrowly tapered or awl-shaped, surpassing the inner ones; leaves smooth......................... ssp. californica (Boiss.) Porsild

1. Outer involucral bracts egg-shaped to rounded, usually shorter than the inner ones; leaves usually minutely fringed below..................... ssp. sibirica (Turcz. ex Boiss.) Nyman

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Moist to mesic beaches and coastal bluffs in the lowland zone; infrequent along the coast, absent from the Queen Charlotte Islands; ssp. sibirica - N to AK and S to WA, ssp. californica - from Vancouver Island to CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Armeria arctica subsp. californica (Boiss.) Abrams
Armeria californica
Armeria maritima var. californica (Boiss.) G.H.M. Lawrence