Aethionema saxatile - Burnt Candytuft

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Apiales - Family: Brassicaceae

Aethionema saxatile, Burnt Candytuft

For people living in Britain and Ireland, Candytuft in the form of a cultivar is associated with neat, edged flowerbeds in gardens and parks in the height of summer.

Identification

The flowers of Burnt Candytuft, a dwarf rock plant, are 3 to 6 mm across and have four notched petals; they are variable in colour and can be white, pink or mauve. Stems range from 3 to 35 cm tall and have a rather woody base.

Aethionema saxatile, Burnt Candytuft

Distribution

Burnt Candytuft is found in the western and central Mediterranean from Spain eastwards to Greece and also in Sardinia, Sicily and Crete.

Habitat

This member of the brassicaceae (Cabbage family, formerly known as cruciferae) grows in rocky habitats in the hills and mountains.

Blooming Times

Burnt Candytuft blooms in springtime.

Etymology

Aethionema comes from aitho- meaning to scorch, and -nema meaning a filament or thread - hence the genus name refers to a scorched filament or thread. The specific epithet saxatile means 'found growing among rocks'.

The plants shown on this page were photographed in Crete in early April.


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