Stems. - Leafless, branching. Leaves. - From the root, somewhat oblong, thick. Flowers. - Lavender-color or pale purple, tiny, scattered or loosely spiked along one side of the branches. Calyx. - Dry, funnel-form. Corolla. - Small, with five petals. Stamens. - Five. Pistil. - One, with five, rarely three, styles.
In August many of the salt marshes are blue with the tiny flowers of the sea lavender. The spray-like appearance of the little plant would seem to account for its name of rosemary, which is derived from the Latin for sea-spray, but Dr. Prior states that this name was given it on account of "its usually growing on the sea-coast, and its odor."
Blossoming with the lavender we often find the great rose mallows and the dainty sea pinks. The marsh St. John's-wort as well is frequently a neighbor, and, a little later in the season, the salt marsh fleabane.