It’s summer at Battery Point salt marsh and one of the prettiest flowers on the marsh the sea lavender (limonium vulgare) is in flower.
It is well established here unlike at the nearby Portbury Wharf where only once have I found any trace. It was last winter when the surrounding flora had died down and far out in the middle of the marsh I stumbled across several plants with dried out seed heads still standing proud.
Indeed so rare is this plant at Portbury Wharf that I have not managed to find them since. You would think it would be easy to see their lavender flowers at this time of year but oh no they remain tantalisingly hidden . . . perhaps buried beneath drifts of sea grass!
The five-petalled flowers vary in colour from a violet with a dark pink central rib to almost white. Also known as Marsh Rosemary this plant is neither related to lavender or rosemary but to Statice.
The flower bracts are so small that to see any detail I had to enlarge my photos quite considerably – the right-hand pencil sketch shows the actual size of a flower bract. In contrast they have quite large and wonderfully curvaceous leaves, sensuous even, which sing out in vivid lime greens and yellows when sunlit from behind and can turn to splendid reds and oranges in the autumn if conditions are right.
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