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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #28135)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Armeria maritima
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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

USDA Species Characteristics

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


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
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in


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