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Limonium

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Title: Limonium  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Samuel Thomson, Cornu aspersum, Ray Island, Helix (gastropod), List of endemic species of the British Isles
Collection: Halophytes, Limonium, Plumbaginaceae
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Limonium

Sea-lavender
Limonium perezii at the San Francisco Botanical Garden
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Plumbaginaceae
Genus: Limonium
Mill.
Species

About 120–150 species; see text

Limonium is a genus of 120 flower species. Members are also known as sea-lavender, statice, or marsh-rosemary. Despite their common names, species are not related to the lavenders or to rosemary. They are instead in Plumbaginaceae, the plumbago or leadwort family. The generic name is from the Latin līmōnion, used by Pliny for a wild plant and is ultimately derived from the Ancient Greek leimon (λειμών, ‘meadow’).[1]

The genus has a subcosmopolitan distribution in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. By far the greatest diversity (over 100 species) is in the area stretching from the Canary Islands east through the Mediterranean region to central Asia; for comparison, North America only has three native Limonium species.[2]

Sea-lavenders normally grow as herbaceous perennial plants, growing 10–70 cm tall from a rhizome; a few (mainly from the Canary Islands) are woody shrubs up to 2 metres tall. Many species flourish in saline soils, and are therefore common near coasts and in salt marshes, and also on saline, gypsum and alkaline soils in continental interiors.

The leaves are simple, entire to lobed, and from 1–30 cm long and 0.5–10 cm broad; most of the leaves are produced in a dense basal rosette, with the flowering stems bearing only small brown scale-leaves (bracts). The flowers are produced on a branched panicle or corymb, the individual flowers small (4–10 mm long) with a five-lobed calyx and corolla, and five stamens; the flower colour is pink or violet to purple in most species, white or yellow in a few. Many of the species are apomictic. The fruit is a small capsule containing a single seed, partly enclosed by the persistent calyx.

Several species are popular garden flowers; they are generally known to gardeners as statices. They are grown both for their flowers and for the appearance of the calyx, which remains on the plant after the true flowers have fallen, and are known as "everlasting flowers".

Species

There are between 120-150 species in the genus, many of them local endemic species with a very restricted range. Species not given a common name here are generally referred to simply as "sea-lavender", "statice," or "marsh-rosemary".

Some species formerly included in Limonium, e.g. L. tataricum, have now been transferred to the separate genus Goniolimon.

Sources

  1. ^ "limonium".   (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Flora of North America
  3. ^ Mozaffarian, V. 1996. A dictionary of Iranian plant names: Latin, English, Persian. Tehran: Farhang-e Moʻaser.
  4. ^ Flora Europaea

External links

  • German Statice Flower
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