GARDEN CANDYTUFT

Iberis umbellata

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZcasual
flower
flower8mauve
flower
flower8lilac
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZumbel
stem
stem8round
contact
contactZmedium

23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Almost flat-topped (hence the scientific name 'umbellata') with smaller flowers nearer the centre. Can be mauve, lilac or sometimes white.


23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Flowers with four petals, those nearest the periphery being zygomorphic, with the larger petals directed outwards. Six short lemon-yellow stamens in the centre of each flower.


23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Anthers cream-coloured (top left). The central style extending upwards when readying to fruit.


23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The plant in fruit has concentric rings of flat winged fruits.


23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Fruits on the outside, petals still to drop off flowers in centre.


23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Fruits slightly concave with two large thin wings either side of the central style. Leaves narrow lanceolate.


23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
In fruit.


23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Wings of fruit slightly and irregularly toothed.


23rd July 2013, a garden, Old Clough Lane, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
As they ripen the fruits develop two triangular points at the top, on each side of the style.


Easily mis-identified as : Wild Candytuft (Iberis amara) which usually has white flowers but can have mauve flowers (the reverse is true for Garden Candytuft). The fruits of Wild Candytuft, again flattish, do not have a highly elongated style, but rather a much shorter one that does not extend above the highest point of the fruits. The fruits also lack the triangular points and are much more rounded. The leaves are also lobed rather than the narrow lanceolate of Garden Candytuft.

Can be mistaken for : Perennial Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) but that is highly branched and grows mainly on walls of gardens, but does escape. It has white flowers and flat fruits that are round with a slight v-shaped notch where the very short style sticks up no higher than the round wings of the fruit. There are a few veins on the inner circle of the fruit absent from those of Garden Candytuft and Wild Candytuft. Also, the leaves are a darker-green that either of the other two Iberis species

Some similarities to : Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria) because that too has similar-sized and flat-topped flower-heads with petals which are a similar colour and similarly seem to be larger around the perimeter of the flower. Also, but less so, to Field Scabious (Scabiosa arvensis).

Contact with this plant can result in a rash or contact dermatitis in susceptible individuals. It is a garden plant that can escape into the wild. Flowers can be either mauve, lilac or white.


  Iberis umbellata  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Iberis
Iberis
(Candytufts)

GARDEN CANDYTUFT

Iberis umbellata

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]