Perennial Sea Lavender

Limonium sinuatum (L.) Miller

Synonyms - Statice sinuata

Family: Plumbaginaceae

Names:

Limonium is from the Greek Leimon meaning marsh or meadow and refers to the areas where these plants commonly grow.
Sinuatum
Perennial Sea Lavender

Other Names:

Limonium
Notch Leaf Sea Lavender
Perennial Statice
Statice.

Summary:

An erect, hairy, perennial herb with a basal rosette of wavy lobed leaves and green, narrowly winged stems and papery, purple and white, one-sided flower heads from September to January. (Some variants may have all white or yellow flowers). The small white or yellow flowers are hidden by the large, colourful, white, yellow, mauve or blue papery calyx and bracts. The small fruits are retained in the papery calyx.
It is native to the Mediterranean region and central Asia.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Form a rosette.
Petiole - 15-70 mm long. Winged. Concave top and convex underneath.
Blade - 40-140 mm long x 10-25 mm wide, lobed with the end lobe larger than the side lobes. Lobe tips are rounded and the end lobe has a fine point. Base tapered. Surface hairy.
Stem leaves - No leaves but there are leaf-like appendages at the ends of stem wings.

Stems:

Flower stem - (Scape) leafless, rigid, 3 winged 100-500 mm tall, rough to touch and branched. Lengthwise wings are wavy, often with tiny hairs on the edges and end in a parallel sided, erect leafy appendage, 10-75 mm long. Hairs are simple, coarse with a wart at the base. Branches are large, rigid and broader at the top. Small scales are at the base of the branches.

Flower head:

15-50 mm long x 20-90 mm wide, short, one sided, crowded, dense, spreading spike like cyme with 2-4 flowered spikelets with 3 prickly bracts.
Outer bract, thin, hairy, 5-7 mm long, egg shaped with 1-3 fine points, tiny hairs on the edges and 0-3 spines at the base.
Middle bract, hairy, 7-8 mm long, rigid, with 2-3 winged spines near the top (or 3 erect teeth alternate with the tips of the keels) and it surrounds the flower.
Inner bract is oblong, 6-7 mm long, thin, papery, with a fine point at the tip.

Flowers:

Almost stalkless, erect. Individual flowers 15 mm long x 4 mm wide.
Ovary - Styles smooth, thread like, free.
Calyx - Funnel shaped, dry, papery, 15 mm long. Lower part is 6-7 mm long, 5-10 ribbed and with tiny, rigid hairs. Upper part is 5-7 mm long, almost flat topped but expanded with 5 rounded, shallow, bright blue, purple, yellow or white folded lobes.
Petals - Smaller, yellow to white, tubular and 5 lobed.
Stamens - Attached at the base of the corolla.
Anthers - 5. Pale yellow.

Fruit:

Seeds:

Tiny.

Roots:

Taproot.

Key Characters:

Basal leaves present.
Leaves lobed, without a membranous margin.
Scapes and branches rigid, 3 winged, hairy.
Spikes very short and dense.
Flowers large and showy.
Calyx limb almost truncate and entire, nerve tips not free.
From J.M. Black and J.R. Wheeler.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial. It grows mainly in the winter and spring.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Summer in western NSW.
Summer in SA.
Mainly September to December in Perth.
Spring to summer in WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

None.

Hybrids:

One variant has a white to yellow calyx and the other has a blue calyx.

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Origin and History:

Mediterranean.
Introduced as an ornamental.

Distribution:

NSW, SA, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate. Mediterranean.

Soil:

Often associated with the edges of saline soils.

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental.

Detrimental:

Weed of roadsides, cemeteries and disturbed areas.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Further work is required.
Small areas can be removed manually.
It is relatively tolerant to glyphosate and hormone herbicides.
Grazing and mowing have variable effects depending on the locality.
0.5 g metsulfuron(600g/L) or chlorsulfuron(750g/kg) plus 100 mL spray oil in 10 L water applied by hand spraying until just wet in spring should provide suppression.
In bushland areas plant tall growing species to increase the levels of shade and help reduce re invasion.

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Dwarf Sea Lavender (Limonium binervosum)
Native Sea Lavender (Limonium australe)
Winged Sea Lavender (Limonium lobatum, Limonium thouinii) has broader wings on the stems with blue to deep purple papery flowers.
(Limonium companyonis)
(Limonium myrianthum)
(Limonium otolepis).

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P680. Diagram.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P548. Photo.

Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Cousens, R.D., Dodd, J. and Lloyd, S.G. (1997). Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. (Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia). P196-198. Photo.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #749.7.

Marchant et al (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P118.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.