ARENARIA Sandwort

Arenaria is not a showy plant – the leafy prostrate stems form a dense mat and the white blooms borne on the flower stalks are not particularly eye-catching. It has, however, a useful part to play because it will cover rocks which are in either sun or shade. The leaves are evergreen and though the plant eventually spreads over a large area it can easily be kept in check.

VARIETIES: For covering rocks which receive little or no sun choose A. balearica (height 1 in., spread 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: March-July). The tiny green leaves give the plant a mossy appearance and the small white flowers are borne abundantly on short stalks. For rocks which face the sun choose instead A. montana (height 6 in., spread 1/2 ft.

Flowering period: May-June). A. caespitosa ‘Aurea’ (proper name Sagina glabra ‘Aurea’) bears golden grassy leaves.

SITE AND SOIL: Requires well-drained moist soil. Needs sun or shade depending on the species.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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