Holy Flax Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
green lavender cotton


Commonly known as lavender cotton, this plant is characterized by its fine, slender leaves, which bear a strong resemblance to those of rosemary. The foliage is a silver-green color, emitting a distinct aroma when brushed against or crushed. The leaves are typically small, densely packed, and can feel slightly woolly or fuzzy to the touch. Lavender cotton's overall form is a compact, rounded bush, presenting a neat, mounded appearance. During its blooming period, lavender cotton produces small, button-like flowers that are generally yellow in color. These flowers form in clusters atop the stems and add a splash of bright color against the silvery backdrop of the leaves. The blooms are typically profuse and can cover the plant in abundance, creating an eye-catching display. The overall impression of lavender cotton is one of a tidy, aromatic shrub with a silvery-green texture, accented by cheerful yellow flowers in season. Its appearance and fragrance make it a popular choice for gardeners looking to add both visual and sensory interest to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Holy Flax, Green Santolina, Lavender Cotton

    • Common names

      Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia, commonly known as Holy Flax, does not have a widespread reputation for being toxic to humans. There are no specific symptoms of poisoning noted in the literature for this particular plant when ingested by humans. However, like many plants, it is advisable to avoid ingestion as individual sensitivities and allergic reactions can occur.

    • To pets

      Holy Flax does not have a well-documented profile of toxicity to pets, such as dogs and cats. While it is not specifically noted as a toxic plant, it is generally recommended to prevent pets from ingesting plants not intended for consumption, as they could potentially cause gastrointestinal upset or other reactions in sensitive individuals.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Spread

      2 feet (0.6 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Landscape ornamentation - Santolina rosmarinifolia, commonly known as Holy Flax, adds aesthetic appeal to gardens with its fine-textured foliage and yellow flowers.
    • Drought resistance - Holy Flax is well-suited for xeriscaping due to its ability to thrive in dry conditions.
    • Low maintenance - This plant requires minimal care once established, making it a convenient choice for busy gardeners.
    • Pest repellent - The aromatic properties of Holy Flax can naturally repel certain pests, helping to protect itself and nearby plants.
    • Soil erosion control - With its dense growth habit, Holy Flax can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion in sloped garden areas.
    • Herb garden addition - While culinary use isn't a primary benefit, it can be included in herb gardens for its visual appeal and potential use as a culinary herb, albeit not as common as other herbs.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    - Antispasmodic: Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia is sometimes used for its antispasmodic properties, which can help in relieving spasms in the digestive system. - Antimicrobial: The plant has been reported to possess antimicrobial properties, which might help in fighting bacterial and fungal infections. - Anti-inflammatory: Traditionally, Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia has been used for its anti-inflammatory effects which can reduce inflammation in the body. - Digestive aid: It is sometimes used in herbal medicine to assist with digestion and to relieve related issues, such as gas or bloating. - Antiseptic: The antiseptic qualities of the plant mean it has been used to cleanse wounds and prevent the development of infections. - Vermifuge: The plant has been used to expel parasitic worms or other internal parasites from the digestive tract. - Cholagogue: Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia has been used to promote the discharge of bile from the system, aiding in the digestion of fats.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The plant, known as green santolina, can be used as a natural dye, giving wool and other fabrics a soft, yellow-green hue.
    • Green santolina is often planted in gardens as a deterrent for insects and pests due to its strong aromatic foliage.
    • It can be included in a potpourri mix to impart its pleasant scent and add texture to the mixture.
    • The dried flowers and leaves can be used to stuff sachets, providing a natural fragrance for wardrobes and drawers.
    • Green santolina is used in landscaping as a low hedge or border plant because of its compact and dense growth habit.
    • It's utilized in arrangements of dried flowers, maintaining its shape and color for a long time after drying.
    • The plant is sometimes incorporated into natural bathing products like bath bombs for its scent and skin-soothing properties.
    • In companion planting, green santolina is grown alongside vegetables and herbs to help protect them from certain pest insects.
    • Its dense growth can be trimmed into artistic topiary forms for ornamental garden designs.
    • Green santolina can be used as a ground cover to prevent soil erosion and suppress weeds in gardens and landscapes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Lavender Cotton is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Lavender Cotton is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection – Santolina, commonly known as lavender cotton, has historically been used to ward off pests and protect linen closets from moths. Its symbolism of protection is derived from these practical uses.
    • Purity – The clean, crisp scent and appearance of lavender cotton can represent purity, both in a physical and more abstract, spiritual sense.
    • Healing – Lavender cotton has been associated with medicinal properties and by extension can symbolize healing, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual.
    • Longevity – With its ability to survive in poor soil and resist drought, lavender cotton can symbolize endurance and longevity.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Lavender Cotton should be watered sparingly, as it is drought-tolerant and prefers dry conditions. It's best to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Water the plant deeply but infrequently, providing about a gallon of water every two to three weeks during the growing season, and reduce watering in the winter to once a month or less, depending on rainfall. Be cautious not to overwater, as Lavender Cotton does not tolerate soggy soil.

  • sunLight

    Lavender Cotton thrives in full sun conditions and should be placed in a spot where it can receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. The ideal location will provide unfiltered, strong light for the majority of the day, ensuring the plant's health and promoting dense, compact growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Lavender Cotton prefers warm temperatures and will do best in conditions that are consistently between 50°F and 86°F. It can tolerate temperatures down to about 20°F but should not be exposed to prolonged freezing conditions. Ideal growth occurs when temperatures are mild to warm, avoiding extremes on either end of the spectrum.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Lavender Cotton is essential to maintain its shape and encourage bushy growth. Prune the plant in early spring just before new growth begins, removing any dead or damaged wood, and shape as desired. Additionally, after flowering, it's beneficial to deadhead spent blooms to promote additional flowering and prevent the plant from becoming leggy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Santolina chamaecyparissus, commonly known as lavender cotton, prefers well-draining soil with a mix of sand, peat, and some organic matter to retain slight moisture. Ideal soil pH is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Lavender cotton, should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to ensure its roots have ample space. It does not require frequent repotting due to its moderate growth rate.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Lavender cotton thrives best in dry to average humidity conditions; it does not tolerate high humidity well. The best humidity level is typically between 40-60%.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, minimal water.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-drained soil, low water.

    • Hardiness zone

      6-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia, commonly known as Holy Flax, begins its life cycle as a seed that germinates in a well-drained soil with full sunlight. After sprouting, it enters the vegetative stage where it develops needle-like leaves and grows into a rounded, bushy evergreen shrub. During its maturation phase, Holy Flax produces small, yellow, button-like flowers in the summer that are attractive to pollinators. After pollination, these flowers will set seed which will eventually dry and disperse in the surrounding area. The plant is perennial, which means after reaching maturity it can continue to grow and reproduce annually for several years. In the final stage of its life cycle, the plant eventually senesces; as it ages, growth slows down, and it may eventually die, completing its life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia, commonly known as Holy Flax, is most commonly propagated through the use of softwood cuttings. This method is best carried out in the late spring to early summer when the plant is actively growing and the stems are still tender and flexible. To propagate by cuttings, a gardener would snip a 4 to 6 inch (about 10 to 15 centimeters) length of stem, making the cut just below a leaf node where the concentration of growth hormones is higher. The lower leaves are then stripped off, and the cut end may be dipped into rooting hormone powder to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is then inserted into a pot filled with a well-draining soil mixture, ensuring that the leaf nodes where the leaves were removed are buried. The pot should be placed in a warm, bright area but out of direct sunlight and kept moist until roots develop, a process that usually takes a few weeks. Once rooted, the new Santolina plants can be gradually acclimatized to outdoor conditions and then transplanted to their final location in the garden.