IBERIS – Candytuft
(Name from Iberia, the ancient name of Spain. The word Candytuft was originally Candia tuft, signifying the tufted plant from Candia)
The neat heads of Candytuft bloom are always greatly admired. Many persons confuse this flower with Sweet-alyssum which bears smaller flowers in smaller clusters and has a longer season of bloom. The white Candytuft is most often seen, but there are purple, lavender and crimson sorts.
The two species differ in the form of their clusters. Iberis amara is known as the Rocket and Hyacinth-flowered Candytuft because it’s white flowers are arranged in long clusters. In I. umbellala, the Purple Candytuft, which includes the colored forms, the flower heads remain umbellate, that is, short and compact. Both of the forms attain 12 inches to 18 inches in height.
Where to Plant. Both forms provide superb edging plants for the garden. They bloom profusely and the fragrance of some of the sorts commends them as cut flowers.
GENERAL. In hot, dry regions Candytuft is not a complete success so that some shade is desirable. Sow the seed where it is to grow as early as possible in the Spring, or even in the Fall. Thin the plants to 6 or 8 inches apart. Fall-sown seed blooms in June; Spring-sown seed in July and August. Sowing seed successively over several weeks will ensure flowers throughout the Summer.
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