A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Plant of the Week: Cerastium tomentosum (Snow-in-Summer)

Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Senior Horticultural Interpreter.

An old favorite of rock gardens and sunny borders, snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum), is well named. In late spring into early summer, its masses of white flowers could be mistaken for a lingering coda to the long and snowy winter we have just endured.close-up

It is native to the mountains of Europe and has been grown in gardens for centuries, not only for its brilliantly white flowers but also for its silvery-gray foliage, as shown in the next shot, taken in the Aquatic Garden under one of the pergolas parallel to the pond. leaves

Having a spreading habit, this perennial plant will form a lovely ground cover, easily filling a pot or a sunny patch of garden bed.

There is a distinct black-and-white theme in sections of the Flower Garden at the moment and snow-in-summer is providing the dramatic contrast to dark-flowered tulips, pansies and red-leaved lettuces. This last shot displays it beautifully at the center of the Flower Garden. Look for it in the Wild Garden, too, though there it will not be as obvious a find.


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