Cerastium candidissimum

22 Oct

Cerastium candidissimum (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Cerastium candidissimum (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 15cm

Eventual Spread: 30cm

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Cerastium candidissimum is an evergreen herbaceous perennial with a mounding habit. Its sliver/ grey/ green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up t0 2cm long and 7mm across. Its white flowers are up to 2cm across.

Cerastium candidissimum, commonly known as Silver Carpet or Greek Snow in the summer, is native to the mountains of west and south Greece. In its native habitat it grows in rock scrub lands and sub alpine meadows.

The etymological root of the binomial name Cerastium is derived from the Greek keras meaning ‘a horn’. Candidissimum is derived from the Latin candida meaning ‘bright’ or ‘pure’, in reference to the flower.

Cerastium candidissimum Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Cerastium candidissimum Leaf (19/09/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Cerastium candidissimum useful as a low growing ground cover perennial. Once established this plant is drought tollerant.

Ecologically, Cerastium candidissimum flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Cerastium candidissimum prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate wet soils.

Cerastium candidissimum requires little maintenance.

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