Iberis sempervirens or Candytuft burst into pure white, fragrant blooms in April, covering the dark evergreen foliage for weeks.
It is a perfect perennial plant for Eastern Shore gardens that have a lot of sun and sandy soils where it will thrive for many years.
The plants grow one foot tall and almost twice as wide with a mounding habit. The woody stems are covered with 1-inch long dark green leaves, and the plants spread out as a groundcover.
The plants can be planted in full-sun locations next to a walkway, cascade over a low wall or be tucked into a container with other plants to provide green foliage in winter and beautiful fragrant flowers in spring.
Known as the common name, “Candytuft,” it highlights how sweetly fragrant the flowers are.
The four-petal flowers group together in small bouquets that completely cover the plants while in bloom.
The flowers will attract butterflies and other pollinators but are not attractive to rabbits or deer.
(Editor’s Note: Ginny Rosenkranz is a commercial horticulture specialist with the University of Maryland Extension.)