Holy Flax Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem'

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


Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem', commonly known as "Primrose Gem" santolina or lavender cotton, is a striking and aromatic subshrub. Its foliage is a standout feature, comprised of slender, needle-like leaves that bear a resemblance to those of the herb rosemary. These leaves are typically gray to green in color, providing an excellent backdrop throughout the year. In contrast to the muted tone of its leaves, 'Primrose Gem' produces vibrant yellow, button-shaped flowers. These cheerful blooms are small and daisy-like, often densely packed into rounded clusters that rise above the foliage on slender stalks during the blooming season. The overall form of the "Primrose Gem" is compact and mounding. The plant maintains a tidy shape with the foliage and flowers creating a textured, cushion-like appearance. This dense and bushy nature, along with the aromatic leaves, makes "Primrose Gem" santolina a popular choice for borders, rock gardens, and as a low hedge in landscape design. Its robust nature and the contrast between the greenish-gray leaves and the sunny yellow flowers offer visual interest, and when the blooms are in season, they can attract butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to the garden.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Primrose Gem Santolina, Lemon Queen, Green Lavender Cotton

    • Common names

      Santolina rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Santolina, commonly known as lavender cotton, is generally not considered toxic to humans. However, it is always advisable to exercise caution and avoid ingesting plants that are not specifically grown for consumption, as they may cause adverse reactions in certain individuals, such as digestive discomfort or allergic reactions. There is limited information about the ingestion of Santolina rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem', specifically, so it is best to err on the side of caution and not consume any parts of the plant.

    • To pets

      Lavender cotton, the common name for Santolina, is not known to be toxic to pets. However, as with humans, it is not intended for consumption, so pets should be discouraged from eating the plant. Some animals might experience mild gastrointestinal upset if they ingest plants that are not part of their normal diet. To ensure the safety of pets, it is best to keep any garden plants out of their reach, especially if the toxicity of a specific cultivar, such as Santolina rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem', is not well documented.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Drought resistance: Capable of surviving in dry conditions once established, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Low maintenance: Requires minimal care, making it a good choice for gardeners with limited time.
    • Attractive foliage: Features fine, needle-like leaves that add texture to garden designs.
    • Long blooming period: Produces bright yellow flowers that offer visual appeal throughout a lengthy season.
    • Deer resistance: Generally not preferred by deer, which helps prevent browsing damage in gardens prone to deer visits.
    • Ground cover: Grows in a dense form, which can cover bare spots and suppress weeds.
    • Border planting: Suitable for edges and borders due to its compact shape and interesting foliage.
    • Pest resistance: Not commonly affected by garden pests, which contributes to its ease of care.
    • Aromatic: Releases a pleasant aroma when its leaves are brushed, adding a sensory dimension to the garden.
    • Evergreen: Retains its leaves throughout the year, providing year-round interest and color in the garden.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Santolina, also known as Lavender Cotton, can be used in potpourri for its aromatic leaves. The foliage retains a pleasant smell even after drying.
    • The dense, small-sized foliage of Lavender Cotton makes it an excellent option for creating intricate knot gardens and other formal garden designs.
    • Lavender Cotton can be used as a natural dye, providing a greenish-yellow hue to fabrics and yarns when used in the dyeing process.
    • The woodsy, herbal scent of Lavender Cotton acts as a natural moth repellent, making it useful when stored among woolen clothes.
    • Gardeners can use Lavender Cotton as a low hedge or edging plant, providing a neat border for garden beds and paths.
    • Incorporating Lavender Cotton into floral arrangements can add a touch of greenery and a fresh, herby fragrance to the bouquet.
    • The compact growth habit of Lavender Cotton makes it a suitable ground cover for rockeries and dry slopes, where it helps control soil erosion.
    • Use dried Lavender Cotton leaves as an ingredient in homemade sachets, which can be placed in drawers or closets for a fresh scent.
    • Lavender Cotton can be crafted into small wreaths or decorative bundles, adding a rustic, herbal aesthetic to home decor.
    • When planning a garden with sensory appeal, the soft, textured leaves of Lavender Cotton provide a tactile experience for visitors.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Green Santolina is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Green Santolina is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Protection: Santolina, often known as Lavender Cotton, has been considered a protective plant. In traditional herb gardens, it was believed to ward off insects and has also been used in sachets to protect woolens from moths.
    • Healing: With its silver-green foliage and traditional use in medicinal remedies, Lavender Cotton symbolizes healing properties. It was historically used for its antiseptic qualities and as a digestive aid.
    • Purity: The color of 'Primrose Gem', a soft yellow, is often associated with purity, and this cultivar of Lavender Cotton might symbolize cleanliness and innocence thanks to its bright and clear hue.
    • Longevity: Lavender Cotton represents longevity as it is an evergreen perennial that can survive and maintain its foliage even through harsh winters, symbolizing persistence and resilience over time.

Every 1-2 weeks
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to early summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus, commonly referred to for this variety) requires moderate watering. During the growing season, water thoroughly only when the top inch of soil feels dry, approximately every 1 to 2 weeks. It's crucial to avoid overwatering, as this plant prefers drier conditions. In winter, reduce watering further to prevent root rot. Provide about 1 gallon of water per plant for each watering session. Ensure the soil has good drainage.

  • sunLight

    Lavender Cotton thrives in full sun conditions, where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. The best spot is an area where it can bask in the morning sun and be protected from intense afternoon rays if you live in a particularly hot climate. Nevertheless, it can also tolerate and do well in partial shade.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Lavender Cotton is hardy and can withstand a wide range of temperatures but flourishes best in conditions between 50°F and 80°F. It can survive minimum temperatures down to about 10°F but should be protected from frost. Maximum temperature tolerance is around 100°F; however, ensure it has some protection during the peak heat of the day.

  • scissorsPruning

    Lavender Cotton should be pruned to maintain its shape and promote dense, compact growth. The best time to prune is in early spring before new growth begins. Trimming can be done again after flowering to remove spent blooms and encourage a second flush of flowers. Prune annually or as needed to keep the plant tidy.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Green Santolina 'Primrose Gem' thrives in well-draining soil with a pH ranging from neutral to slightly alkaline. A mix of garden loam, sand, and peat or a cactus potting mix is ideal; maintain a pH of 6.0-7.5 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Green Santolina 'Primrose Gem' generally requires repotting every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and allow for growth. If the plant has outgrown its current pot, repot in spring or early summer.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Green Santolina 'Primrose Gem' prefers dry to moderate humidity levels and is tolerant of the low humidity typically found in most homes.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use bright light, low humidity, well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun, well-drained soil, drought-tolerant once established.

    • Hardiness zone

      6-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem', commonly known as Primrose Gem santolina, begins its life cycle when seeds are dispersed and germinate in suitable conditions, typically in well-drained soil and full sunlight. Seedlings emerge and develop into young plants with finely textured, aromatic, evergreen foliage. The plant then reaches maturity and enters the flowering stage, usually in summer, producing small, bright yellow, button-like flowers atop its silvery-green leaves. After pollination, often by insects, the flowers develop into seed heads, which eventually dry and release seeds for the next generation. Throughout its life, Primrose Gem santolina experiences periods of active growth in the spring and summer, followed by dormancy in the colder months. The plant is a perennial and thus will go through this cycle of growth, flowering, and dormancy for several years, often with regular pruning to maintain shape and encourage healthy growth.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to early summer

    • Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp. rosmarinifolia 'Primrose Gem', commonly known as Green Santolina or Lavender Cotton, is most effectively propagated using softwood cuttings. This method typically takes place in late spring to early summer when the new growth is still tender and flexible. To propagate using this method, gardeners should cut a 4 to 6-inch (approximately 10 to 15 cm) stem from a healthy parent plant, making sure the cutting includes several sets of leaves. The lower leaves are then stripped, and the cut end is dipped in rooting hormone powder to encourage root development. The prepared cutting is placed in a well-draining rooting medium, such as a mix of peat and perlite, and is kept under high humidity and indirect sunlight until roots have developed, after which it can be transplanted to a more permanent location.