Worldwide, especially maritime areas.
Genera 24, species ca. 775 (3 genera, 11 species in the flora).
A report of Ceratostigma plumbaginioides Bunge from Missouri is based on a single specimen collected in an alley in Columbia, Boone County (D. B. Dunn 1982) and probably is not naturalized, according to George Yatskievych (pers. comm.), who considers that it probably has not persisted. J. H. Schaffner (1932) reported the same species as a waif in Lake County, Ohio. T. C. Cooperrider (1995) cited that report and indicated that he had not seen a specimen. Cultivated Ceratostigma seems to have the potential for becoming naturalized. Ceratostigma resembles Plumbago but has stamens adnate to the corolla tube and a nonglandular calyx.
Plumbaginaceae may be a sister group to Polygonaceae (M. D. Lledó et al. 1998). It includes some plants of horticultural value, including Ceratostigma, Armeria, Limonium, and Plumbago. Some species of Plumbago and Limonium have medicinal uses. Plumbaginaceae often occur in saline habitats; basal leaves may have glands that excrete calcareous or chalklike salts. Some species of Armeria occur on soils rich in lead or on mine tailings. The family’s Latin and common names derive from an early belief that the plants could cure lead poisoning.
|1||Inflorescences dense hemispheric heads terminal on leafless scape; leaf blades mostly linearto lanceolate||Armeria|
|1||Inflorescences terminal or axillary racemes, panicles, or corymbs; leaf blades elliptic to oblong to round, rarely linear||> 2|
|2||Plants acaulescent; petals nearly distinct; stamens adnate to bases of petals||Limonium|
|2||Plants with stems erect, prostrate, or climbing; petals connate for most of their length, corollas salverform; stamens free from petals||Plumbago|