Native to the mountainous regions of southwestern Europe from the Pyrenees to Portugal, this evergreen herbaceous perennial is a member of the carnation family, Caryophyllaceae, that also includes, pinks, baby’s breath, and Irish moss. It grows 2-9″ tall from a shallow root system and forms a softly hairy, dense mound of lanceolate to ovate, green to gray-green leaves that are 1/8 to 1″ long. From late spring to early summer, dense cymes of 2-10 white, flat, 1/2-1″ wide flowers appear on 1″ stalks. The plants spread slowly and are a good choice for a groundcover, edging in a border or along paths, or for rock , wall, or trough gardens. The genus name, Arenaria, comes from the Latin word arena, meaning sand, and refers to the soil of the natural habitat of most of the plants in the genus. The specific epithet, montana, is from the Latin word mons, meaning mountain and refers to the native habitat of the plant.

Type: Evergreen herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Dense cymes of white flowers from late spring to early summer

Size: 2-9″ H x 8-12″ W

Light: Full sun to part shade

Soil: Averages, sandy or loamy, medium moist, well drained, neutral to slightly acid; water during dry spells

Hardiness: Zones 4-8

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Division in late summer or early fall, basal cuttings, seed

Companion Plants: Basket of gold (Aurinia saxitalis), carpet bugle (Ajuga reptans), creeping phlox (Phlox sublata)

Outstanding Selections:


‘Lemon Ice’

Photo Credit: Mtiffany 71 Wikipedia

By Karen