Plant Focus: Thrift

This plant loves the coast but many gardeners have also adopted it for their gardens.

Thrift (Armeria maritima) is so popular several places have it as their county flower: Bute, Isles of Scilly and Pembrokeshire.

3 things you might not know

  • In Gaelic thrift is known as tonna chladaich, meaning ‘beach wave’. In Welsh it is called clustog fair, Mary’s pillow.
  • It is also known as Sea Pink, Rock Rose and Our Ladies Cushion.
  • Thrift was used as an emblem on the threepenny-bit between 1937 and 1953 – the Mint no doubt aware of the double meaning in its name. Plantlife

This fantastic wee plant is a great pollinator and will cling on in where it seems impossible to do so.

We used to picnic where the thrift

Grew deep and tufted to the edge;

We saw the yellow foam flakes drift

In trembling sponges on the ledge

Below us, till the wind would lift

Them up the cliff and o’er the hedge.

John Betjeman ‘Trebetherick’

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