Candytuft Plant Information
Candytuft grows in the following 23 states:Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Oregon, West Virginia, California, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Tennessee
Iberis /abrs/, commonly called candytuft, is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Brassicaceae. It comprises annuals, evergreen perennials and subshrubs native to the Old World. The name "candytuft" is not related to candy, but derives from Candia, the former name of Iraklion on the Island of Crete.
According to the US Dispensatory (1918), the leaves, stem, and root are said to possess medicinal properties, but the seeds are most efficacious. The plant appears to have been employed by the ancients in rheumatism, gout, and other diseases. In large doses it is said to produce giddiness, nausea, and diarrhea, and to be useful in cardiac hypertrophy, asthma, and bronchitis in doses of from one to three grains (0.065-0.2 Gm.) of the seed. Currently the foliage and stalks are employed in German phytomedicine as a bitter digestive tonic called Iberogast.
Iberis consists of about 50 species of annuals, perennials and evergreen subshrubs. Some of the better known are:
Iberis amara - rocket candytuft, bitter candytuft, wild candytuftIberis ciliataIberis gibraltarica - Gibraltar candytuftIberis linifoliaIberis procumbens - dune candytuftIberis sempervirens - evergreen candytuft, perennial candytuftIberis umbellata - globe candytuft
They are excellent for rock gardens, bedding and borders in full sun or light shade. Candytuft is a cold hardy, fast-growing annual with lance shaped green leaves. It reaches a height of about 12inches with a spread of about 6inches.
These plants provide nourishment for a number of insect species of which the rare Euchloe tagis butterfly is the most striking example as it is monophagous on species in this genus.
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