Acantholimon ulicinum

Common Name: prickly thrift 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Plumbaginaceae
Native Range: Mediterranean region, Asia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 4-8. Best grown in sandy to gritty, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Performs well in limestone soils. Tolerates some light shade. Drought tolerant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Acantholimon ulicinum, commonly known as prickly thrift, is a cushion-forming subshrub of the plumbago or leadwort family. It grows to 4” tall with a spread to 8” wide or more. It is native to mountainous areas, in rocky-gravelly places (particularly stony slopes and limestone screes), from Greece to the Balkans and Turkey. Plants feature crowded, rigid, hard-textured, spiny-tipped, linear, needle-like leaves (to 3/4” long). Five-petaled pink flowers in short-stalked inflorescences bloom in early summer (June-July).

Genus name comes from the Greek akantha meaning a thorn and the genus name for sea-lavender, Limonium to which this genus is related.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word ulicinus meaning resembling the ancient Latin genus Ulex (gorse, furze, whin).

Acantholimon ulicinum is sometimes commonly called gorse prickly thrift.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Rock gardens. Alpine gardens