The Cerastium tomentosum is native to the alpine regions of Europe and is commonly named snow-in-summer. Snow-in-summer is a genus from the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae).
This plant is named snow-in-summer because when in full bloom it resembles a pile of snow. Tomentosum is Latin for felty. This is because the leaves are covered with small, white hairs that form whitish felting. This makes this perennial not only beautiful when its covered in white flowers, but also if you only see the leaves.
The Cerastium tomentosum forms a dense silver carpet or waterfall if you let it grow over a wall. If the snow-in-summer takes up too much space you can easily cut it or tear it away. By digging the Cerastium tomentosum up and dividing it, it is easily propagated and this also helps to keep it vigorous.
The snow-in-summer is not very demanding. It prefers poor, well-drained soil in a sunny spot. If the soil is too moist the roots will rot. In the right place and circumstances this perennial grows fast. The stems that touch the ground develop roots. It will also propagate by seed. If the soil is too rich this plant will grow less compact and less appealing.
The snow-in-summer is very suitable as groundcover and for rock gardens. The Cerastium tomentosum is tolerant to salt and drought. In the regions with hot and humid summers the snow-in-summer is short-lived.
Attracts bees: yes
Deer resistant: yes
Exposure: sun/part shade
Flower color: white
Flowering time: May – July
Foliage color: grey
Fragrant flower: no
Hardiness: -40 ºC (-40 ºF)
Height: 6 inches (15 cm)