PERENNIAL CANDYTUFT

Iberis sempervirens

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Mainly a garden plant, about a foot or so high.


6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Highly distinctive rounded spike of white flowers. Ribbed and possibly branched main stem with dark green linear leaves. Lower part of stem may go woody.


6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Highly unusual white flowers with four un-equal petals.


6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Smaller flowers at the top of the spike, becoming gradually larger down the stem. Short seed pod may be showing in the centre of each.


6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Central flower only may have equal-length petals.


6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Four petals, in the shape of an 'X' chromosome, two shorter towards the stem, two longer facing outwards. Six stamens with deep yellow pollen.


6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Seed pod developing in very centre.


6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Deep green linear leaves getting slightly broader near the end with mid-rib emerge from central stem without stalks.


6th May 2011, Simmondley, Glossop, Derbys. Photo: © RWD
Seed pod short and curved upwards on longer stalk may or may not have short leaf-like bracts nearby. Stem ridged for rigidity; lower part may turn woody too.


Some similarities to : the rather rare Wild Candytuft which is found mainly in the Chilterns but that has zygomorphic flowers particularly on the peripheral of the flowering spike where the two outer petals are much longer than the two inner flowers of the very same floret.

Not to be confused with: Garden Candytuft (Iberis umbellata), which is another Candytuft popular with gardeners, but which is much larger and bushier, with flowers of various colours such as mauve and lilac rather than only in white.

Rounded flower-head not un-like that of Sweet Alison, a member of the same Cabbage Family.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Is grown mainly as a garden plant. Likes walls. May escape to nearby places.

It is a highly distinctive plant belonging to the Cabbage Family, but has a most unusual flower shape with four petals, in pairs, of un-equal length, arranged not in a right-angled cross but like an 'X' chromosome. Seed pods cylindrical, short and curved upwards. There is no basal rosette of leaves.


  Iberis sempervirens  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Iberis
Iberis
(Candytufts)

PERENNIAL CANDYTUFT

Iberis sempervirens

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

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