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Products > Frankenia thymifolia
Frankenia thymifolia - Sea Heath
Image of Frankenia thymifolia
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Frankeniaceae (Frankenias)
Origin: Algeria (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: <1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Frankenia thymifolia (Sea Heath) A low subshrub groundcover to 6 inches tall by 1 to 2 feet wide with wiry creeping stems densely covered with tiny semi-succulent leaves that are rolled back along the margins and have white hairs. In summer appear the very small 5-petaled rose-pink flowers in short spikes at the branch ends. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil and irrigate occasionally to very little. Listed as hardy to USDA zone 8 so should be good down to at least to 20 F and maybe less. This interesting plant makes a small scale groundcover in a well-drained soil or use it in the rock or trough garden or as a bonsai companion plant. This species comes from southern Spain and north Africa where it is found in saline sites including in Algeria where it inhabits the halophyte steppes leading south to the Sahara and in the sub-sea level salt lake region of Chott Melghirof. This should be a great plant for gardens irrigated with reclaimed water. As the specific epithet implies this plant has foliage much like thyme. Frankenia was named after John Frankenius (1590-1661) sometimes written as Franke or Franckenius or Franck who was professor of anatomy, medicine and botany at Uppsala, Sweden. He was the author of Speculum botanicum, and a colleague of Linnaeus. The genus is the only one in the family Frankeniaceae and consists of up to a hundred species found in the old and new world in both northern and southern hemispheres. Our thanks go out to Robert Abe of Chia Nursery, who first introduced us to this little charmer. 

This information about Frankenia thymifolia displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.