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Aubrieta - Rock Cress

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Aubriets are alpine perennials that belong to the Brassicaceae family. They are easy plants to grow in a cool temperate climate, neither tiny nor temperamental. They form fields of colourful flowers at the edges of beds or over walls, which they confidently climb.

Not exceeding 15 cm (6in) in height, they spread out and are cover themselves in spring with four-petaled flowers that range from the most beautiful violets ('Violet Purple') to the most vibrant blues ('Royal Blue'), passing through red ('Royal Red') or pink ('Cascade Red'). About a dozen species, like Aubrieta gracilis and Aubrieta canescens, originate from the dry hills of the Mediterranean region, extending to Iran in the East. Those that are found living happily in gardens are often selected hybrids of Aubrieta deltoidea (aubrieta x cultorum), to the extent that it's hard to imagine a flowering rockery without their colourful blankets. They require only fertile, well-drained soil and a sunny site.

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