Idyllwild Garden: Lavender cotton

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Lavender cotton or gray santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus)is a fine-textured, bushy and mound-forming shrub with gray foliage and yellow, button-like flower heads formed by tubular flowers appearing in summer. It grows to 2 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Santolina is both very hardy and exceptionally drought-tolerant and can grow in full sunlight in sandy or loamy soil with good drainage. Santolina may need to be cut back severely every year or it becomes long and woody. Make root semi-ripe cuttings in late summer for propagation. Photo courtesy of Harold Voorheis

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