Sea thrift, sea pink
Along the Pacific coast, from Washington to south-central California
Up to 2 feet (the flower stalk)
Coastal bluffs, grassland, sandy locations
Linear, up to 5.5 inches long
February to September
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.