Perez's Sea Lavender (not native)

Limonium perezii

Overview

Overview
 
There are four different species of sea lavenders at the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. They all belong to the genus Limonium, and are often recognized by a papery colored calyx, which is often thought as the flower itself. However, only Limonium californicum (California sea lavender) is native to California. Perez's sea lavender (Limonium perezii) is native to the Canary Islands in Spain, but has established as part of our local flora, and is now abundant along the coast and the roadsides of California.
                                 
                                 

Description

Description 2, 4, 59
 
Perez's sea lavender is a 3 ft (1 m) tall herbaceous perennial. It grows from a woody rhizome that holds a basal rosette of thick, leathery, oval to round leaves with wavy margins and long petioles. Leaf blades are 1 1/2 - 6 inches (4 -15 cm) long and 1 -  2 3/4 inches (2.5 – 7 cm) wide and pinnately veined. Blades are tapered little if at all at the base.
 
From the basal rosette of Perez's sea lavender arise many branched, cylindrical flowering stems which are topped with domes of flowers in a pattern that gives the plant a bushy appearance. The individual flowers are radial and bisexual, about  3/16  to 1/4 inches (4 - 6 mm) across, with five white lobed petals enclosed at their base by a funnel of papery, purple sepals which are often perceived as the petals.  The flowers of Perez’s sea lavender have one pistil with five styles and five stamens with white to light yellow anthers and light yellow pollen.
 
Perez’s Sea Lavender blooms from March to September, and produces one-seeded fruits from early-December to mid-September.
 
                                                                                   
Other Common Names: 
Canarian sea lavender, marsh rosemary, sea foam, sea lavender, statice

Distribution

Distribution 2,7,41

Perez's sea lavender is native to the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago located just off the southern coast of Morocco; it has naturalized in coastal California, primarily south of Point Conception, and is now a common component of the local flora at elevations below 330 ft (100 m).
 
Sea lavenders are found in coastal habitats such as beaches, salt marshes, coastal prairies as well as saline and alkaline areas. Perez’s sea lavender is widely distributed in these types of habitats, but it is also very common along the roadsides of Southern California and in ornamental landscapes.
 
At the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, Perez’s sea lavender is found at the edge of the Harbaugh Seaside Trails and in the West Basin. Plants used to occur along the Pole Road, but diligent removal by the Lagoon Platoon has eliminated them in that area..
 
  
This plant occurs primarily in the following vegetation types in the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve: 
Coastal strand

Classification

 Classification

Sea lavenders are dicot angiosperms in the Leadwort or Plumbago family (Plumbaginaceae), which includes about 400 species of annuals or perennial subshrubs or vines, mostly associated with saline soils. However, only two species of this family are native to California, Limonium californicum and Armeria maritima ssp. californica.2

Plants in the Leadwort family are characterized by simple leaves that often bear glands on the surface, and by radially symmetric bisexual flowers, with five petals, five stamens, five styles,23 and five thin and membranous sepals, that may be more colorful and showy than the petals, and remain attached to the fruit until maturity.176

The Leadwort family includes some plants of horticultural value, including Sea Pink (Armeria), some varieties of Limonium perezii, and Limonium sinuatum, and the common ornamental, plumbago.

There are four species of sea lavender at the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, L. californicum (California sea lavender), L. perezii (Perez’s sea lavender), L. sinuatum (Wavy sea lavender) and Limonium ramosissimum (Algerian sea lavender).48

 
 
              

 

Alternate scientific name(s): 
Statice perezii

Ecology

Ecology

Many species in the Plumbaginaceae family have salt-secreting glands in their leaves, which allow them to survive in saline areas, such as coastal areas and ocean bluffs.176

    

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human Uses

Human Uses

Some cultivars of sea lavender have become such an economically important floral crop, that in 1998, the sales of these plants approached 3.7 million U.S. dollars, only in California.177 Limonium perezii cv. ‘Blue Seas’ is widely cultivated for fresh and dried arrangements, since their calyces retain their color and remain long after the corollas have fallen.
 
Perez's sea lavender has been propagated using  saline water of up to 10 dS m-1.178
 
The family’s Latin name (Plumbaginaceae) is derived from the Latin Plumbum (“lead”), perhaps due to an early belief that one of the members of this family could cure lead poisoning.180
           
             

Interesting Facts

Interesting Facts

Limonium perezii was originally named by the Austrian Botanist Otto Stapf, Statice perezii, in honor to Dr. George V. Perez, who contributed seed of different species of sea lavender to the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.181 The genus Statice was moved to Limonium in 1916 by Frederic Hubbard.206

Some sea lavenders are among those species considered vulnerable in their native habitat, but when introduced and naturalized in a different area have become invasive and replaced native vegetation. Due to its low number and restricted distribution in the Canary Islands, L. perezii is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List.172 However, in California it is considered an ornamental landscape "escapee", and is now included in the “Watch List” of the California Invasive Plant Council because of its potential to spread in the California wildlands.183, 184 

 
               

Photos

Gateways, June 2015
Gateways, June 2015
Gateways, June 2015
salt crystals on leaf, 30X; July 2015
Gateways, Apr. 2015
in a Cardiff garden; May 2009
in a Cardiff garden; May 2009
in a Cardiff garden; May 2009
in a Cardiff garden; May 2009
in a Cardiff garden; May 2009
nursery grown plant; July 2015
display in Encinitas nursery; July 2015