Cotton Lavender


cotton lavenderThe small shrub like perennial Santolina or cotton lavender is a pretty sight during the month of July. With      silver -grey  aromatic foliage topped by button like bright yellow flowers it works well as a plant in the front of  borders, or to tumble over garden walls. They will only tolerate full sun in well drained soil as they originate  from the western Mediterranean area. It belongs to the chamomile family, which probably explains its rather  pungent scent.
 
You can use these plants to make an attractive low silver hedge as its foliage is dense and works well for this  purpose. However you do need to prune back the yellow flowers once they are over and prune the foliage back  in August otherwise it can become woody and difficult to manage. 
 
The most popular variety is the Santolina chamaecyparissus which can reach a height of 24inches (30cm) and it is also sometimes referred to as French lavender or ground cypress.