Many flowers that are good for cutting and drying end up with the common name of statice, which can get confusing when you are trying to order one particular type. One of these names is sea lavender. Fortunately, you can rely on the botanical name to make some sense of this diversity.
Description of statice: Statice (L. sinuatum) is a tender perennial with upright sprays of small flowers enclosed in papery calyces, which last for days as a freshly cut flower and for months when dried. They come in bright or pastel shades of yellow, pink, purple, blue, orange, red, and white. The plants have clusters of basal leaves and winged stems. They grow from 12 to 30 inches high.
How to grow statice: Provide full sun and well-drained soil of moderate fertility. Set seedlings outdoors after the danger of frost passes and the soil is warm. Plant 12 to 15 inches apart. Once established, statice can withstand some drought. Cut the flowers when blooms are at least three-quarters open. Air dry them upside down in the dark.
Propagating statice: By seed. Sow directly in place after the last spring frost in warm climates or, for earlier bloom, plant seeds 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost date. Seeds will germinate in 14 to 21 days at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Uses for statice: Statice are naturals in a cut flower garden. You also can use them for upright accents in mixed flower gardens and for attracting butterflies.
Statice related species: L. latifolium, sea lavender, is a hardy perennial with airy plumes of everlasting, lavender-blue flowers. Psylliostachys suworowii (syn. L. suworowii) has long, branching spikes of small, everlasting flowers.
Statice related varieties: 'Art Shades' has a handsome blend of orange, salmon-pink, yellow, red, rose-pink, carmine, white, lavender-blue, and blue flowers. 'Petite Bouquet Mix,' used for bedding, gets only 12 inches tall. The Soiree Series grow to 2 feet high. 'Sunset' focUses for on warm shades of orange, apricot, peach, and rose and grows to 30 inches tall.
Scientific name for statice: Limonium sinuatum