Ireland

Thrift (Sea thrift, Sea pink)

Armeria maritima

Armeria maritima, commonly known as thrift, sea thrift or sea pink, is a species of flowering plant. It is a compact perennial which grows in low clumps and sends up long stems that support globes of bright pink flowers. In some cases purple, white or red flowers also occur. It is a popular garden flower and has been distributed worldwide as a garden and cut flower. It does well in gardens designed as xeriscapes or rock gardens.

The plant can be found in the wild in coastal areas across the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Europe, but also occurs in parts of South America. It is a common sight in British marshes. It can grow in dry, sandy, saline conditions such as those at beaches and salt marshes.

A 1943 threepenny bit
Armeria maritima has a great copper-tolerance, and is able to grow in soils with copper concentrations of up to 6400 mg/kg. One mechanism proposed is that not much copper is transported up the shoot of the plant, and is excreted from decaying leaves. Some of the physiology and metabolism of this species has been described, of particular note is how the metabolism of this species is altered with elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

There are several subspecies.