Armeria pseudarmeria 'Ballerina Lilac'

Common Name: thrift 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Plumbaginaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.25 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.25 feet
Bloom Time: April to September
Bloom Description: Lilac-purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Best grown in dry, very well-draining soil in full sun. Foliage mounds tend to rot in the center if grown in moist, fertile soils or in heavy clay. Deadhead to encourage reblooming. Tolerant of heat, salt spray and rocky soils. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

'Ballerina Lilac' offers improved cold tolerance compared to the species and is hardy in Zone 6. May also be grown in Zone 5 but does best with reliable snow cover.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Armeria pseudarmeria, commonly called thrift, is a herbaceous, perennial, clump-forming, sub-shrub endemic to rocky, coastal slopes, seaside cliffs, and salt marshes in west-central Portugal. Mature clumps will reach up to 8" tall with a 12" spread. The foliage is narrowly lanceolate in shape and slightly keeled, reaching up to 8" long. Globular, 1.5" diameter clusters of small cup-shaped flowers are held above the basal foliage on 10-20" long, upright scapes. The flowers bloom in summer and range in color from white to pink.

Genus name is Latinized from the old French name armoires for a cluster-headed dianthus.

The specific epithet pseudarmeria means "false armeria". In this context armeria refers to dianthus, which the round, dense flower clusters of this species superficially resemble.

In the wild, thrift commonly grow in saline environments along coastal areas where few other plants can grow well, hence the common name.

'Ballerina Lilac' features large, rounded clusters of lilac-purple blooms from mid to late spring into summer. Sporadic reblooming occurs from summer to early fall. Mature plants will reach up to 1.25' tall when flowering and spread to fill a similar area.


No major pest or disease problems. Foliage mounds tend to rot in the center if grown in moist, fertile soils or in heavy clay.


Seaside gardens, rock gardens, alpine gardens, Mediterranean gardens, cottage gardens, mixed border edges.