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Candytuft Iberis sempervirens

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Candytuft:

Phonetic Spelling
eye-BEER-is sem-per-VY-renz
Description

Good for accent areas borders, walkways, and rock gardens,  It works well in containers or over a rock wall.  Cut candytuft back severely at least every other year to ensure that it does not become tall and leggy; candytuft is actually a woody subshrub, but is often treated as a herbaceous perennial; this plant is occasionally damaged by deer.  Candytuft is drought tolerant, moderately salt-tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant.

It prefers sun to light shade tolerates a range of soil types provided there is good drainage. pH adaptable, easily transplanted, and relatively pest-free.    

Quick ID Hints:

  • Evergreen groundcover has small, flat, linear leaves
  • Covered with crowded white-flowered racemes in Spring
  • Flowers scissors-shaped; 4 free, clawed petals
  • Leaf scars on older twigs raised, prominent

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Caterpillars, slugs and snails can be a problem.  Downey mildew, powdery mildew, fungal leaf spots, and rust occasionally occur.  Wet soils lead to crown rot.  Cold winters can cause leaves to get sun scorch.  

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Alexander White'
Tags:
#white#butterflies#evergreen#sun#showy flowers#drought tolerant#spring#perennial#white flowers#light shade#wildlife plant#showy#nectar plant#salt tolerant#rabbit resistant#playground#cpp#edging#pest resistant#deer resistant#shiny#children's garden#rock garden#rock wall#groundcover#rock gardens#borders#containers#subshrub
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Alexander White'
Tags:
#white#butterflies#evergreen#sun#showy flowers#drought tolerant#spring#perennial#white flowers#light shade#wildlife plant#showy#nectar plant#salt tolerant#rabbit resistant#playground#cpp#edging#pest resistant#deer resistant#shiny#children's garden#rock garden#rock wall#groundcover#rock gardens#borders#containers#subshrub
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Iberis
    Species:
    sempervirens
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Leaf Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Mounding
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is an orbicular-elliptic silicle, green maturing to brown, and 1/5".
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Numerous small, white flowers of up to 2 in. clusters in March-May. Petals are scissor shaped or as a narrow "X" they are oblong-spatulate shape, clawed, with the outer 2 petals longer than the inner 2. Petals are 1-1.5 cm in diameter. Inflorescence a flat-topped, congested raceme, terminal, around 4-5 cm. Flowers can turn light pink as they get older.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    This leaf is 1/2"- 2" x 1/10"- 1/5", alternate, simple, linear-oblong, obtuse, shiny, leathery, entire, flat, and dark green.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems can root where they touch the ground. Older stems have leaf scars that are raised and prominent.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Rock Wall
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Salt