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Cerastium tomentosum (photo courtesy of Pacific Plug & Liner)
Cerastium tomentosum (photo courtesy of Pacific Plug & Liner)

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Zone
Zones A1, A2, 1-24, 32-45
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Cerastium tomentosum

Snow-in-Summer
Caryophyllaceae
Ground covers, Perennials

This low-growing European native performs equally well in mild and cold climates, coastal and desert areas. Forms dense, tufty mats of silvery gray, 3/4-in. leaves; grows 6–8 in. high, spreads 2–3 ft. in a year. Bears masses of small, snow white flowers in early summer. Use as a groundcover on slopes or level ground; as a bulb cover in rock gardens; for edging along paths; or between steppingstones. The plant is not long-lived, so avoid extensive planting in prominent situations. Conversely, in the Northwest it grows so enthusiastically it can become a weed.

Takes any soil as long as drainage is good. Set divisions or plants 1–1 1/2 ft. apart, or sow seed. To speed growth, water regularly and feed 2 or 3 times a year. After bloom ends, shear off faded flower clusters or mow the planting. May look a bit shabby in winter but revives rapidly in spring.

 

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