Cotton Lavender or Gray Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus / Santolina incana) is a flowering plant native to the western and central Mediterranean region. The plant has many potential uses. Its flowers and leaves are made into a decoction used to expel intestinal parasites. An oil used in perfumery can also be extracted from the plant. Branches may be hung up in wardrobes to repel insect, and leaves are also suitable for use in pot pourri and in herbal tobacco substitutes.
The hero of any hot, dry garden, lavender cotton is grown mainly for its wonderful aromatic green or silver foliage with its little yellow flowers almost an afterthought. It's also widely used in knot gardens for a contrasting foliage. That's because these low shrubby perennials accept regular shearing with aplomb and have been used as low hedge plants for centuries. The distinctive foliage blends well in beds and borders, and in herb gardens.