Thursday, 9 October 2014
Flower of the day: Iberis saxatilis
Iberis saxatilis, Iberis sempervirens
Iberis sempervirens (evergreen candytuft, perennial candytuft) is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, native to southern Europe. It is a spreading subshrub growing to 30 cm (12 in) high by 40 cm (16 in) broad. As an ornamental plant it is a spring-blooming favourite, often seen cascading over rocks and walls, or used as groundcover. The glossy, evergreen foliage forms a billowing mound, with many fragrant, pure white flowers for several weeks during spring and early summer. When grown in a garden it may require light pruning right after blooming, but otherwise plants can be left alone in fall and early spring. It is drought-tolerant once established. It prefers a well-drained site, so heavy clay soils that stay wet in winter should be avoided. It is not easily divided.
Iberis is so named because many members of the genus come from the Iberian Peninsula. Sempervirens means "always green", referring to the evergreen foliage.
This plant and the cultivar 'Snowflake' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.