Iberis sempervirens 'Alexander's White'
     
Tried and True Recommended by 1 Professional
Common Name: candytuft
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Brassicaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.5 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.5 to 1.5 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Color: White
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flowers: Showy Flowers
Tolerates: Drought, Deer, Rabbits
Uses: Groundcover, Will Naturalize

Culture

Best grown in average, well-drained soils in full sun. Less floriferous if grown in part shade. Well-drained soil is the key to growing this plant well. Cut or sheer plants stems back by 1/3 after flowering to encourage new growth and to maintain compact habit. In cold winter climates, mulch plants with evergreen boughs in winter to help minimize potential damage from sun scorch and desiccation. Stems may root where they touch the ground creating new plants which can be left as is or transplanted to other areas. 'Alexander's White' is usually propagated vegetatively to insure consistent and uniform pure white flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

'Alexander's White' is an evergreen candytuft cultivar (sempervirens in Latin meaning always green) which is a slightly more compact and more floriferous version of the species. It is a low-growing, spreading, woody-based, herbaceous perennial (sometimes called a subshrub) which typically forms a foliage mound 6-8" tall and spreading to 18" wide. It is evergreen in warm winter climates, but semi-evergreen in cold winter climates where the foliage may suffer significant decline in harsh winters. Small, pure white, 4-petaled flowers in dense, flattened clusters (corymbs) appear in a profuse, early-to-late-spring bloom which often totally obscures the foliage. Flowers sometimes gradually age to light pink. Very narrow, almost needle-like, linear leaves (to 1.5" long and 1/4" wide) are glossy dark green and leathery.

Problems

Wet, poorly-drained soils inevitably lead to crown rot which can devastate plantings. Susceptible to club root which results in stunted growth. Desiccation and sun scorch may damage the evergreen foliage in cold winter climates.

Garden Uses

Excellent edging plant (many of the cultivars of this species are more compact and may make even better edgers) for borders, paths or walkways. Rock gardens or sprawl over a wall. Interesting ground cover for small, sunny areas.