E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Armeria maritima (Mill.) Willd.
thrift (European thrift; sea-pink; thrift seapink)
Plumbaginaceae (Leadwort family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #28135)

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Distribution of Armeria maritima
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Species Information

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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

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Armeria maritima

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 5 5 5
Slope Gradient (%) 40 40 40
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
359 359 359
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 1
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Armeria maritima subsp. alpina (Willd.) P. Silva
Armeria maritima var. alboi Bernis

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References