Plant type: annual or perennial.
Description: The name comes from the area of natural distribution. Spain used to be called Iberia. In total, there are approximately 40 species in the genus, which are common in Central Europe and the Mediterranean. By type, Iberis is a perennial or annual herbaceous plant, and sometimes a shrub. Foliage – pinnatipartite or whole. The flowers have a purple, pink or white hue, they are collected in a brush in the form of an umbrella. The shape of the fruit is a pod. 1 g contains up to 500 seeds.
The most common types of iberis are:
Iberis evergreen (Iberis sempervirens)
This species is native to Asia Minor and Southern Europe. The height of Iberis perennial with a semi-shrub flower is 30-40 cm. The foliage is oblong, evergreen, entire, shiny, dark green with a length of up to 7 cm. Iberis flowers are white in color, and their diameter is 1.5 cm. They are concentrated in umbellate inflorescences, which are up to 5 cm across. At the beginning of the summer season, the plant blooms profusely for 20-25 days. Sometimes there is a re-bloom at the end of summer. Inflorescences during flowering almost completely cover the leaves. This species is fruitful and ornamental throughout the season.
Iberis Gibraltar (Iberis gibraltarica)
This species originates from Morocco and southern Spain. Outwardly, it is a low-growing shrub with numerous small pink flowers. The flowering period is spring. The diameter of the bush is 40 cm, and the height is -25 cm. The peculiarity of care is that the plant requires well-drained soil and a sunny place. In central Russia, this species is a juvenile, as a rule, a biennial. It can be manually renewed by self-seeding. Among flower growers, the most famous varieties are ‘Gibralter Candytuft’ and ‘Candy Tuff’ . The first variety is of particular interest due to the beautiful lilac flowers, which gradually turn white and abundantly cover a compact, low bush.
Iberis Crimean (Iberis simplex)
The homeland of this species is the Crimea. The type is perennial. The height is from 5 to 10 cm. The foliage is pubescent, spatulate, gray-green. Flowers that are in buds are purple, and when blooming – white. Iberis Crimean blooms in spring, see photo.
The peculiarity of care is the increased demand for calcium in the soil. It is best to plant the plant in a dry, sunny place in rock garden stones. The soil must be well drained. It is necessary to sow the seeds in the spring, and the first shoots will appear within a month at a temperature of 13-18 ° C. Also, the flower can be propagated by cuttings at the end of summer.
Iberis rocky (Iberis saxatilis)
It grows on rocky areas in southern Europe from the Iberian Peninsula to the Black Sea.
Iberis rocky – an evergreen shrub reaches only 10-15 cm in height. During the flowering period, it forms rounded thick cushions that seem powdered with snow.
Iberis bitter (Iberis amara)
Habitat – south of the European part of Russia, Central Europe, Crimea.
This type of Iberis is an annual plant with a height of up to 30 cm. The stems are pubescent and branched from the root collar. The foliage has a regular order, in shape – obtuse, oblanceolate, serrated along the edge. Flowers 1.5-2 cm in diameter have a pronounced aroma. They are concentrated in a racemose inflorescence of a columnar shape. Hue – white or slightly purple.
Iberis umbrella (Iberis umbellata)
Grows in southern Europe. The type is annual. The stems have a height of up to 40 cm in texture, bare and smooth. The foliage is lanceolate and alternate. The flowers are quite fragrant and collected in dense corymbose inflorescences. Hue – from white to purple. After 2-2.5 months from the date of sowing, Iberis begins to bloom. The flowering period is two months, starting in June. Forms fruits, which are oval bilobed pods with a pair of seeds. Seeds with white flowers have a light yellow tint and orange-red if the color of the flowers is different. The shape is flat. More than 400 pieces are concentrated in 1 g. Germination persists for two to three years.
General recommendations for the care of Iberis
- Location: Prefers full light, but tolerates light shading.
- Soil type: The plant has no special requirements, but light loams are best suited.
- Pests: possible defeat by an earthen flea. In this case, round holes will appear on the foliage, and some leaves will be completely eaten. To fight the pest, you need to constantly moisten the soil.
- Cultivation: Iberis is grown both by seeds and by dividing the bush. Seeds are sown in open ground in boxes. The period is March or April. If the temperature is 18-20°C, then the seeds will germinate in 7-10 days, and if the temperature is about 15°C, in 14-20 days. Seedlings begin to bloom in the second year. In one place they can grow for 5-6 years.
- Uses: These flowers are spectacular in flowerbeds and border plantings, on lawns, on the south side of rocky gardens. In the design they are well combined with low perennials, but the disadvantage is the intensive growth of bushes.