Santolina chamaecyparissus
Santolina chamaecyparissus flowers.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Santolina
S. chamaecyparissus
Binomial name
Santolina chamaecyparissus

Santolina marchii Arrigoni

Santolina chamaecyparissus (syn. S. incana), known as cotton lavender or lavender-cotton,[4] is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the western and central Mediterranean.


The specific epithet chamaecyparissus means "like Chamaecyparis" (ground cypress), though it is not closely related to that plant.[5] It is also not closely related to either cotton or lavender, despite its common name "cotton lavender". Recognized varieties or subspecies are

  • var. etrusca Lacaita ≡ S. etrusca (Lacaita) Marchi & D'Amato
  • subsp. magonica O. Bolòs, Molin. & P. Monts. ≡ S. magonica (O. Bolòs, Molin. & P. Monts.) Romo, = var. teucrietorum O. Bolòs & Vigo
  • var. pectinata f. insularis Gennari ex Fiori ≡ S. insularis (Gennari ex Fiori) Arrigoni
  • var. vedranensis O. Bolòs & Vigo ≡ S. vedranensis (O. Bolòs & Vigo) L. Sáez, M. Serrano, S. Ortiz & R. Carbajal[6]


It is a small evergreen shrub growing to 50 cm (20 in) tall and broad. Densely covered in aromatic, grey-green leaves, in summer it produces masses of yellow, button-like composite flowerheads, held on slender stems above the foliage. The disc florets are tubular and there are no ray florets.[7]


This plant is valued in cultivation as groundcover or as an edging plant for a hot, sunny, well-drained spot, though it may be short-lived. Once established, plants can tolerate dry and poor soils. Its compact shape can be maintained by cutting back in spring. [8]

Numerous cultivars have been produced, of which 'Nana', a dwarf form growing to 25 cm (10 in), has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[9]


In cosmetics it is used as a tonic.[10] It is an effective fumigant[11]


Photo gallery


  1. ^ "Santolina chamaecyparissus". International Plant Names Index (IPNI). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  2. ^ UniProt. "Species Santolina chamaecyparissus". Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  3. ^ Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem. "Details for: Santolina chamaecyparissus". Euro+Med PlantBase. Free University of Berlin. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
  4. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  5. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
  6. ^ Giacò, Antonio; Astuti, Giovanni; Peruzzi, Lorenzo (2021). "Typification and nomenclature of the names in the Santolina chamaecyparissus species complex (Asteraceae)". Taxon. 70 (1): 189–201. doi:10.1002/tax.12429. ISSN 1996-8175.
  7. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  8. ^ "Santolina chamaecyparissus - Plant Finder". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Santolina chamaecyparissus 'Nana'". Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  10. ^ Carrasco, F. (2009). "Ingredientes Cosméticos". Diccionario de Ingredientes 4ª Ed. p. 509. ISBN 978-84-613-4979-1.
  11. ^ Wave Hill Botanical Garden Sign (14 August 2021). "English: Lavender cotton, Santolina Chamaecyparissus".
  12. ^ Álvarez, L. A.; Pérez-Sierra, A.; León, M.; Armengol, J.; García-Jiménez, J. "Lavender cotton root rot: a new host of Phytophthora tentaculata found in Spain". American Phytopathological Society. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links