Belonging to the Brassicaceae family (mustard/cabbage), candytuft flowers are found as annuals, perennials and evergreens. This casual plant works well in less formal gardens, rock gardens and spreads well flowing freely over rocks and walls.
After flowers bloom and the weather gets hot, keeping plants trimmed helps appearance as tend to get "leggy". This is why they make a great cascading plant. If plants are used for edging or ground covering it's best to cut them back as they will have a scraggly appearance.
Annual flower colors include white, pinks and purples. Perennial blooms are more a wildflower and woody while Iberis sempervirens 'Purity' is considered an semi-evergreen candytuft. All classifications of Iberis are fast growing plants and bloom mid-to-late spring and early summer, depending on locations.
With about 50 species, Iberis:
Propagation of can be done with seed and plant cuttings. Seeds germinate quickly within 2 weeks and can be done indoors just before the last frost. Keep in mind that Iberis plants self-sow quite easily. Cuttings will take longer and need to be watched to ensure they live.
Iberis sempervirens, or perennial rootballs can be divided, it's best to do this in fall. The annual plants tend to grow taller than the perennials and are not as dense.
Other notable points include:
|Photo: Thomas Brandt|
The medicinal use of candytuft was often during Colonial times for rheumatism, gastrointestinal issues and bronchial problems, including asthma. Although edible, because of the plants unfavorable bitter taste it's not used today.
Examples of Annuals:
Examples of Perennials:
Iberis Sempervivum 'Alexander's white'
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