Leaves of armeria maritima
are long, narrow and numerous, clustered around the base of the brownish flower stalks. They have a central vein, and sometimes two parallel side veins, close to the edge. Leaves are usually hairless, but can be hairy. Plants form clumps, spreading from rhizomes. Flower stalks are leafless, up to 2 feet tall, and are topped by a spherical cluster of several dozen five-lobed flowers; usually pink, sometimes purple, red or white. Flowers contain five stamens with yellowish anthers, and five styles, fused at the base.Ssp maritima
, found along the Oregon coast, has dimorphic flowers - in some, the stigmas are smooth while in others they are papillate, covered by small bumps. The more common and widespread ssp californica
has flowers with only papillate stigmas.