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Plant Guide


422 Bath Road
Brunswick, ME 04011


89 Foreside Road
Falmouth, ME 04105


201 Gray Rd (Route 100)
Cumberland, ME 04021


Cotton Lavender

Santolina chamaecyparissus

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Cotton Lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus) at Skillins Greenhouse

Cotton Lavender

Cotton Lavender

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Cotton Lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus) at Skillins Greenhouse

Cotton Lavender in bloom

Cotton Lavender in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Cotton Lavender (Santolina chamaecyparissus) at Skillins Greenhouse

Cotton Lavender foliage

Cotton Lavender foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  18 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Other Names:  Gray Santolina


This beautifully fine textured variety produces spectacular silver foliage with a hint of gray-green througout, and bright yellow button flowers in summer; traditionally used as a low hedge in herb gardens; perfect accent in the rock garden or borders

Ornamental Features

Cotton Lavender features showy spikes of lightly-scented yellow button flowers at the ends of the branches from early to mid summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has attractive silver foliage. The fragrant narrow leaves are highly ornamental and remain silver throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Cotton Lavender is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which should be used to full effect.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Cotton Lavender is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Cotton Lavender will grow to be about 18 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. It has a low canopy. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This shrub should only be grown in full sunlight. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

Cotton Lavender makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Groundcover  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features