Lavender Cotton – Santolina chamaecyparissus – Asteraceae (Compositae) family
Although lavender cotton is a member of the daisy family, it is more reminiscent of lavender with its grayish green foliage and strong aromatic scent. It is used in potpourris, insect repellent sachets and dried flower arrangements. Grown as an ornamental in the herb garden, it is also known by its genus name, santolina.
While lavender cotton is not as popular as the musky scented green lavender with its purple flowers, many growers swear by its insect repelling qualities. The Amish of Pennsylvania use the dried stems and flowers in their pantries to repel weevils. In late summer they’ll harvest the entire plant and hang it from the ceiling in root cellars. With its strong scent, santolina is ideal for controlling odors.
Lavender cotton can be propagated from seed, layering, divisions, or cuttings taken in the spring. They require full sun; with light, sandy, well-drained soil and occasional watering. Leaves are a silvery gray-green, with the plants growing to a height of 2 feet. The flowers are bright yellow and shaped like tiny, round buttons. Native to the southern Mediterranean region, santolina is considered a hardy perennial.
Blessed Be Sweet Ones
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