Large, leathery, green basal leaves contrast with airy clusters of tiny, delicate flowers on nearly leafless, many-branched stems. The flowers consist of two parts: an outer, papery envelope (the calyx) and an inner part (the corolla). Calyx and corolla are often of different colors. Flowers are good for cutting and keep their color when dried. Plants tolerate heat and many kinds of soil but need good drainage. They often self-sow. For spring and summer bloom of annual kinds, sow indoors and move to garden when weather warms up. Or sow outdoors in early spring for later bloom. Resistant to deer.
L. platyphyllum. SEA LAVENDER. Perennial. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Native to central and southeastern Europe. Vigorous plant to 2 ft. tall, covered in a 3-ft.-wide cloud of flowers in summer. Calyx is white, corolla bluish; pure white and pink kinds exist. Smooth-edged leaves to 10 in. long.
L. sinuatum. STATICE. Annual. Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11. Mediterranean native widely grown for use as a cut flower in both fresh and dried arrangements. To 1 ft. tall and 1 ft. wide, with basal leaves lobed nearly to midrib. Flower stems are distinctly winged, with flattish extensions on their sides. Calyx is blue, lavender, or rose; corolla is white. Improved strains come in rose, yellow, apricot, orange, peach, light blue, deep blue, purple, and white. Plant in fall in Coastal and Tropical South.