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Santolina chamaecyparissus

Santolina chamaecyparissus, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Asterales

Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Asteroideae
Tribus: Anthemideae
Subtribus: Santolininae
Genus: Santolina
Species: Santolina chamaecyparissus

Santolina chamaecyparissus L.

Abrotanum foemina Garsault
Santolina brevicaulis Jord.
Santolina brevidentata Stokes
Santolina brevifolia Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina chamaecyparissus var. mariolensis O. de Bolòs & J. Vigo
Santolina chamaecyparissus var. ruscinonensis Rouy
Santolina chamaecyparissus var. teucrietorum O. de Bolòs & J. Vigo
Santolina dentata Moench
Santolina diversifolia Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina ericoides Hort. ex Poir.
Santolina glabrescens Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina homophylla Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina intricata Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina linearifolia Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina lobata Jord.
Santolina marchii P.V. Arrigoni
Santolina microcephala Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina pallida Salisb.
Santolina pecten Rouy
Santolina provincialis Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina rigidula Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina ruscinonensis Rouy
Santolina sericea Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina squarrosa Willd.
Santolina valida Jord. & Fourr.
Santolina villosissima Poir.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 842. Reference page.


International Plant Names Index. 2017. Santolina chamaecyparissus. Published online. Accessed: Dec. 01 2017.
The Plant List 2013. Santolina chamaecyparissus in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2017 Dec. 01. 2017. Santolina chamaecyparissus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 01 Dec. 2017.
Hassler, M. 2017. Santolina chamaecyparissus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2017. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2017 Dec. 01. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Santolina chamaecyparissus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
català: Espernallac
Deutsch: Graues Heiligenkraut
English: Lavender Cotton
español: Abrótano hembra
euskara: Astakamamila
suomi: Nyhähopeayrtti
Nederlands: Heiligenbloem, cypressenkruid

Santolina chamaecyparissus (syn. S. incana), known as cotton lavender or lavender-cotton,[4] is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the western and central Mediterranean.


The specific epithet chamaecyparissus means "like Chamaecyparis" (ground cypress), though it is not closely related to that plant.[5] It is also not closely related to either cotton or lavender, despite its common name "cotton lavender". Recognized varieties or subspecies are

var. etrusca Lacaita ≡ S. etrusca (Lacaita) Marchi & D'Amato
subsp. magonica O. Bolòs, Molin. & P. Monts. ≡ S. magonica (O. Bolòs, Molin. & P. Monts.) Romo, = var. teucrietorum O. Bolòs & Vigo
var. pectinata f. insularis Gennari ex Fiori ≡ S. insularis (Gennari ex Fiori) Arrigoni
var. vedranensis O. Bolòs & Vigo ≡ S. vedranensis (O. Bolòs & Vigo) L. Sáez, M. Serrano, S. Ortiz & R. Carbajal[6]


It is a small evergreen shrub growing to 50 cm (20 in) tall and broad. Densely covered in aromatic, grey-green leaves, in summer it produces masses of yellow, button-like composite flowerheads, held on slender stems above the foliage. The disc florets are tubular and there are no ray florets.[7]

This plant is valued in cultivation as groundcover or as an edging plant for a hot, sunny, well-drained spot, though it may be short-lived. Once established, plants can tolerate dry and poor soils. Its compact shape can be maintained by cutting back in spring.[8]

Numerous cultivars have been produced, of which 'Nana', a dwarf form growing to 25 cm (10 in), has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[9]

In cosmetics it is used as a tonic.[10] It is an effective fumigant[11]

Phytophthora tentaculata[12]


"Santolina chamaecyparissus". International Plant Names Index (IPNI). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2008-06-27.
UniProt. "Species Santolina chamaecyparissus". Retrieved 2008-06-27.
Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem. "Details for: Santolina chamaecyparissus". Euro+Med PlantBase. Free University of Berlin. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. p. 224. ISBN 9781845337315.
Giacò, Antonio; Astuti, Giovanni; Peruzzi, Lorenzo (2021). "Typification and nomenclature of the names in the Santolina chamaecyparissus species complex (Asteraceae)". Taxon. 70 (1): 189–201. doi:10.1002/tax.12429. ISSN 1996-8175.
RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
"Santolina chamaecyparissus - Plant Finder". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
"RHS Plant Selector - Santolina chamaecyparissus 'Nana'". Retrieved 5 March 2021.
Carrasco, F. (2009). "Ingredientes Cosméticos". Diccionario de Ingredientes\ 4ª Ed. p. 509. ISBN 978-84-613-4979-1.
Wave Hill Botanical Garden Sign (14 August 2021). "English: Lavender cotton, Santolina Chamaecyparissus".
Álvarez, L. A.; Pérez-Sierra, A.; León, M.; Armengol, J.; García-Jiménez, J. "Lavender cotton root rot: a new host of Phytophthora tentaculata found in Spain". American Phytopathological Society.

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