Plant of the Month for January, 2018

  (eye-BEER-is  SIM-plecks)

General Information:

Iberis simplex is an easy to grow alpine that forms a lose bun and flowers a long time. It is a great addition to a rock or scree garden.

Iberis simplex:photo by Robert Pavlis

The one pictured here was grown from seed obtained from NARGS through their seed exchange program. I have tried several Iberis and they all seem to be easy to grow from seed.

The whole genus is commonly called candytuft but not because they taste sweet. The name is derived from Candia, the former name of Heraklion on the Island of Crete.

Iberis simplex:photo by Robert Pavlis

Each flower head consists of numerous flowers which open in succession, accounting for the long bloom display. I. simplex is smaller than some other candytufts but if it gets too large for the space, take cuttings, or layer some stems and start a new plant.

Deer have left this plant alone, but they have eaten other candytufts in the main garden.

Life Cycle: subshrub

Height: 12cm (5in)

Bloom Time: late spring

Natural Range: Eastern Europe, Western Asia

Habitat: rocky slopes and screes, 400-2900m

Synonyms:  Iberis pinardii, Iberis taurica



Light: full sun

Soil: well drained, scree

Water: drought tolerant once established

USDA Hardiness Zone: (3?)5 – 9

Propagation: seed, cuttings late summer

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): occasionally


Requires light or the small seeds should be surface sown. See


Sow @ 20°C. Seed germinates within 3 months.
Robert Pavlis