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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Iberis Absolutely Amethyst: First in this colour

Posted by Graham Rice on 08 Oct 2011 at 01:57 PM

Iberis,Absolutely Amethyst,'Ib2401',Photo courtesy of Proven Winners - www.provenwinners.comWe always think of Iberis, or perennial candytuft, as white. In fact its gleaming spring flower heads set against slender dark green foliage are one of the dependable highlights of the spring garden. We’ve also had a pinkish flowered form that never really grabbed gardeners’ attention, now we have new form with bright, lavender purple flowers.

Iberis Absolutely Amethyst ('Ib2401') is a mound forming evergreen perennial reaching 10-12in/25-30cm high and 8-10in/20-25cm across. Its leaves are narrow and rich green, and in late spring each plant is covered in flowers.

The domed heads are made up of a large number of small flowers, opening purple in the top and slowing fading to pale lavender lower down as the flowers age. Sparks of yellow are scattered all through the flower heads as the anthers open.

This is a drought tolerant plant, ideal at the front of a sunny raised bed where it will slowly tumble over the edge. Absolutely Amethyst is also good in gravel gardens and planted alongside a stone path where it can spread out across the edge of the stones. It will also thrive in a container.

Absolutely Amethyst needs no special care. Simply clip off the flower heads when they’ve faded to be left with an attractive mound of green foliage.

Iberis Absolutely Amethyst ('Ib2401') is available from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.

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