Teresa Morris of Islay Wildscapes sent me the following blog about one of the most abundant and colourful flowers on Islay, sea thrift:
The past week has seen the profuse flowering of the Sea Pink (Armeria maritima) on the saltmarshes at Loch Gruinart and other areas across Islay. A vast pink carpet of flowers flicker in the breeze producing a spectacular pink glow across the head of the loch in the evening sunshine as shown in the photographs kindly taken by a resident of Islay.
Loch Gruinart Salt Marsh Sea Pinks
Sea Pinks are known by several common names, including "thrift", "sea thriftâ€. They are compact perennial plants measuring 5 to 25cm which grow in low clumps sending up long stems from which globes of bright pink flowers blossom. In some cases purple, white or red flowers also occur. Continue reading....
This species is a characteristic and abundant plant of maritime rock and cliff habitats and is common on salt marshes where it is tolerant of grazing by stock. It can occur inland and can be found on mountain rocks and cliffs including on the summit of Bheinn Bheigher the highest peak on Islay.
Sea Pinks on Beinn Bheigher, the highest peak on Islay
Sea Pink is a tufted perennial and flowers from April to October. The main period is now between June and July when the cushion of single veined linear leaves gives rise to many flowers held on leafless downy stalks in compact roundish heads. It grows in a compact spongy cushions which have evolved to protect the ground under the plant by preventing soil erosion thus averting plant dehydration via its roots.
Sea Pinks at Loch Gruinart
Sea Pinks on Killinallan Beach
Sea Pinks Close up