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Santolina chamaecyparissus

Cotton lavender

Dwarf evergreen with button like flowers

A scented silver delight this is a beautiful evergreen shrub for use as a low edging to a path or to grow at the front of a border where it can be stroked to release the scent of the leaves. Button like, bright yellow flowers appear on wiry stems in June and these can be dried for winter use.


Like many silver leaved plants, this one loves full sun and well drained soil as well as growing in a sunny seaside garden. Also useful as a low growing hedge or for a container.


Water well until established. Trim lightly with shears after flowering to tidy the plants.

Cotton Lavender was strewn on the ground in Medieval times to disguise bad smells.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub, Ground cover
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Summer
Flowering July - August
Evergreen No
Plant height 30 cm - 45 cm
Plant width 22 cm - 30 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 25 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H5

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Acid, Chalk, Light sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun
Soil drainage Well drained
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Patio container, Mediterranean garden, Flower border and beds, Coastal or drought resistant, Cottage garden, Informal garden, Gravel garden

Typically available

From April to September