This low-growing plant is perhaps the epitome of the alpine plant. Its small size would make it hardly noticeable elsewhere, but it really shines when given its own niche in a rock garden.
Description of rock jasmine: Umbels of small pink flowers appear on 5-inch stems in spring, almost hiding the foliage. The hairy, silvery 1 1/2-inch leaves form a dense rosette. Rock jasmine produces numerous runners and quickly surrounds itself with offsets so that the plant forms a thick clump up to 2 feet in diameter, although the individual rosettes are quite tiny. Ease of care: Moderately difficult.
Growing rock jasmine: Rock jasmine requires perfect drainage and should be mulched with stone chips. It can be grown in full sun in colder climates, but needs partial shade elsewhere since it does not tolerate heat. Water regularly during periods of drought.
Propagating rock jasmine: Separate and root the plantlets that form at the end of stolons.
Uses for rock jasmine: The rock jasmine's need for perfect drainage makes it an ideal candidate for scree gardens, rock clefts, and rock walls.
Rock jasmine related species: A sarmentosa is probably one of the hardiest of the genus. A lanuginosa forms a mat with silky, silver leaves; it is hardy to zone 6. A. sempervivoides is a much smaller plant, forming clumps only 9 inches across and 2 inches high on 4-inch flower stalks.
Scientific name of rock jasmine: Androsace sarmentosa
Want more information? Visit the following articles:
- Rock Garden Plants: Learn which flowers and plans work best in rock gardens.
- Gardening: Want gardening basics – start here with our guide to gardening.
- Rock Gardens: We answer all your questions about rock gardens.