Arabis alpina is a dwarf, compact growing plant that forms a mounding cushion of olive-green leaves and blooms with dense masses of flowers. ‘Snow Cap' is a large white-flowered cultivar, the flowers almost completely cover the foliage throughout spring.
Arabis is a very popular and useful plant and one of the best for the rockery. It is related to Aubrieta and is used in a similar fashion. It makes a good groundcover, can be used in borders and is excellent for trailing over the edges of containers, over stones or down walls.
Its attractive evergreen leaves forming a low cushion about 15cm (6in) in height. In mild winters the leaves hold their looks deep into winter. It is tough & hardy, simply provide ordinary good soil and excellent drainage.
Always one of the earliest spring flowers to appear, 'Snowcap' looks wonderful in spring containers. Plant under spring-blooming bulbs with Narcissus, Primula veris or Viola the pretty white blossoms will fill the void when yearning for blooms is tugging at your core.
Arabis alpina subsp. caucasica 'Snowcap' was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Sowing: Sow in early autumn for flowering the following spring, or in late spring for flowering the following year.
Fill cells or pots with a free draining seed compost, stand the containers in water to moisten thoroughly, then drain. Sow the seeds on the surface of the compost; do not cover as the seeds need light to germinate. Make sure the compost is moist and not wet and seal in a polythene bag until after germination which usually takes 14-21 days at 18-20°C (65-68°F). Keep in a coldframe or unheated greenhouse. Remove the polythene bag once the first seedlings appear.
When seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them to 7cm (3in) pots to grow on. Remember to hold the seedlings by the leaves and not the stem.
Once established, plant out spacing 20cm (8in) apart into a well drained garden soil preferably with gritty, well-drained soil in full sun.
Seeds can also be sown directly in open ground. Sow a few seeds into a small prepared area. Thin out seedlings as they grow firstly to 5cm (2in) apart, then to 20cm (8in) apart. Replant the transplanted seedlings in another part of the garden.
Arabis are easy to grow. They prefer light, well-drained soil and are tolerant of a wide pH range but will be short lived if drainage is poor. (Plants have a tendency to suffer from root rot when conditions are too cool and wet.). It will grow in light shade, but for best blooms should be planted in full sun. It does fine in shade, but bloom time will be slightly shorter.
There is one golden rule: Cut back after flowering! The flowers fade during the first half of June, sheer the plant back after it is finished blooming to regain fresh growth & compactness. If left untrimmed it will become rangy in summer heat. Do not cut back foliage in autumn or early spring, doing so will prevent the plants from flowering.
Suitable for rockeries, walls, borders, edging paths, planters, window boxes. Low Maintenance, Gravel Gardens. Costal areas. Underplanting of shrubs. Attractive to both bees and butterflies.
The species Arabis alpina grows in mountainous areas of Europe, north Africa, central and eastern Asia and parts of North America. Native to the British Isles, it is only known to occur in a few locations in the Cuillin Ridge of the Isle of Skye.
The genus name Arabis is the Greek word for ‘Arabian’.
This is a true alpine plant, in that its origins are the European Alps. The species name refers to the Caucasus mountain range, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea that forms part of the traditional border between Europe and Asia
Schneehaube is German for Snowcap ( schnee' meaning Snow, 'haube' means 'hood')
- Additional Information
Packet Size 30mg Average Seed Count 100 Seeds Family Brassicaceae Genus Arabis Species alpina subsp. caucasica Cultivar Snowcap Synonym syn A. alpina 'Schneehaube'. Formerly Albida arabis or A. albrida Common Name syn A. alpina 'Schneehaube'
Wall, White or Mountain Rockcress
Other Common Names Wall Cress Other Language Names Fr: Arabette du caucase Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers Pure white flowers Natural Flower Time Early to late spring Foliage Slightly succulent like evergreen leaves Height 15cm (6in) Spread 30 to 50cm (12 to 20in) Position Sun to light shade Soil Well drained ordinary garden soil Time to Sow Sow in early autumn, or in late spring for flowering the following year. Germination 14-21 days at 18-20°C (65-68°F)