Frankenia sp., Seaheath, Alkali Heath

Frankenia sp.

Seaheath, Alkali Heath
Family: Frankeniaceae
Groundcover and low-growing 2ft plantSmall plant 2-5 ftFull sunDry conditionsModerate waterPink flowersFlood tolerant plantSeaside, salt tolerant plant

The family Frankeniaceae, which includes about 80 species, is well-known for their ability to thrive in saline, gypseous or calcareous substrates; consequently, they are often found near coastlines. It is broad-spread in Mediterranean climates such as parts of California, Chile and South Africa and about half of the species can be found in Australia. They primarily inhabit arid and semi-arid regions with significant winter rains.

One species from the Frankeniaceae family is Frankenia sp. (Seaheath); it is a rhizomatous subshrub with lush leaves and small, white to pink flowers. What makes it ideal for coastal gardens and seaside landscapes, is that it is easy to maintain, highly drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant. Furthermore, it grows to around two feet in height and spreads quickly forming a layer of groundcover that blocks weed growth. Another advantage of Seaheath is its color palette ranging from grey-green to yellowish-green. The plants' pink flowers rise nicely above the foliage, making it a great addition to any garden.

Seaheath is frost-tender, so it is suitable for USDA Zones 9-11 and can be grown in cold regions when planted in a pot. It prefers full sun, although it will tolerate light shade too. As for upkeep, the only thing necessary for Seaheath is providing good soil-based compost and water regularly during warm weather and sparingly in winter.

If you have a bog garden, another great way to incorporate Seaheath is to submerge it into the environment.

Frankenia sp., Seaheath, Alkali Heath

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