Also known as False Rockcress, Aubrieta is an herbaceous perennial flower that belongs to the Brassicaceae Family. This genus has about 20 species and has been named after a French flower-painter called Claude Aubriet.
Aubrieta flowers are believed to have originated from Southern Europe east to Central Asia. Nowadays, it is gained significant popularity throughout the whole of Europe. It is a mat-forming and a low-growing hardy, evergreen perennial that produces beautiful and small pink, white and violet flowers. The flowers also often adopt a vivid purple-red shade and they typically bloom in early summer and late spring season.
The shape of this perennial plant is described as a spreading mass that is low and trailing. The flowers also grow in a similar low-spreading fashion. They grow best in full sun and can tolerate partially shaded growing conditions. They usually inhabit rocks and banks and one of their most special growing locations include rock gardens.
Visual Appeal of Aubrieta Flowers
Aubrieta flowers are often planted as a monoculture and are considered to be more of a staple that belongs to old-fashioned gardens. Their primary colors really stand out amid their green-gray foliage and they greatly appeal to one’s visual attention.
You will also popularly find these beautiful flowers in creeping across the front path of most cottage gardens and perhaps even coming from behind stone walls. Interestingly, the Aubrieta flowers significantly dominated British gardening somewhere during the 20th century.
Anyone with a dream of having their own cottage garden is likely to think of these flowers because of their immense visual appeal. It is also because they don’t form a whole blanket of flowers, but grow in smaller groups. You can expect little bursts of violet, red and pink Aubrietas anywhere you plant them, making the place look amazingly pretty and giving it a whole new, colorful look.
With its abundant blossoms, this perennial flowering plant completely covers the green-gray foliage below as soon as the colorful flowers start blooming. Since they are so low and trailing, they make a striking show which makes them an excellent option for ground covers, pathways, crevices of stone walls and to be placed between stepping stones.
How to Grow Aubrieta Flowers
Aubrieta flowers are known to “have no liking for richness” which means that they are non-fussy flowers that are easy to grow, care for and maintain properly. These flowers prefer growing in thin soil that is particularly alkaline and they also grow best under full sun.
The best technique or way to ensure that the flowers bloom to perfection is to shear them really hard once they are done growing at their respective length. Doing this helps the flowers develop a new cushion of tight foliage which makes sure that they keep going on year after year. A key point to note here is that instead of cutting them, one should tug them at the heel. The best time to do is when the flowers’ foliage is a little dense which is usually around September and October.
In order to prevent woodiness in Aubrieta, you must shear them or clip them hard after the flowering process. This will ensure that the green foliage is perfectly intact and youthful and the flowers grow successfully.
The Real Flower Power
Aubrieta flowers are some of the rarest flowers that do well in gardens which is what makes them so valuable and popular, especially among garden owners. They have this impressive ability to cope and tolerate tough natural conditions which has led people to consider Aubrieta as the plant with ‘real flower power’.
They are incredibly drought-resistant and even though they often end up losing their leaves and begin to look all withered during August, they are able to bloom and green up again as soon as the cold weather makes its way back sometime during September.
Aubrieta flowers are amazingly well-adapted to the winter season that gives them the immense ability to withstand the frost and cold without any damage to the delicate flowers. They grow almost continuously during the winter months, a characteristic that makes them evergreen. Even with snow all around, if you have planted Aubrieta flowers in your garden, you will notice their foliage or even the flowers are never affected by the cold weather. All these tough qualities make Aubrieta a very vigorous plant that is able to fight its way amid harsh growing conditions.
Another excellent feature contributing to the ‘real flower power’ of this plant is the natural variation that occurs in its colors and shades. They bloom in different shades of white, pink and purple and these varying colors set each other off with great perfection. The Aubrieta genus also has different types and varieties, making these flowers an ideal choice for home gardens, pathways, patios, paved areas, etc. Since the flowers spread out in a mat-like pattern or from behind the edges, they look great on hard surfaces, especially because of the effect of softening they produce.
Various Species of the Aubrieta Flower
This flowering plant has over 20 different species, each with unique features and characteristics like size, color, and uses. Here are some of the most common and popular types of Aubrieta Flowers for you to remember the next time you wish to give your garden a flowery makeover.
This variety of the Aubrieta flower is also called “zebra iris” and holds significant popularity since old times. It is distinguished by its purple-blue blooms and its lush green leaves that often consist of yellow markings. It is also known by another name called “Dalmatian Iris” primarily because this flower species is native to Dalmatia, a province in Croatia. It has also been found growing in abundance in the Southern Alps.
The leaves of Aurea Variegata have a sword-like shape and they grow in the form of low clumps. The green leaves provide a sharp, but pretty contrast against the grey-green and yellow-golden stripes that run on them lengthwise. This herbaceous perennial grows to an average height of 2 to 3 feet and spreads on the ground up to 2 feet.
The main blooming period for these flowers is from May to June that results in beautifully fragrant blue-lavender flower. It is often cultivated for its oil that is known by many names including orris, orris root and sweet orris. This is an essential oil that is extracted from the rhizomes of the Aurea Variegata and is then used in perfumes, spirits and breath fresheners as a preservative. Some common garden uses of this flower include partial shade locations, shade gardens, and open woodland gardens.
This type is marked by its showy double blue-purple blooms and is a hybrid species that goes by the scientific name “aubrieta x cultorum”.
The Barker’s Double a fast-growing perennial that has a long flowering period and is best suited for a rock garden and ground cover. It is described as a hardy perennial that prefers growing in partial shade or full sun. It produces a semi-evergreen type of foliage and is a real foundation for perennial beds for the spring season. One of its key distinguishing features is that it highly attracts butterflies by creating a blanket of breathtaking colors.
It grows to an average height of 10 – 20 cm and its space range is about 46-61 cm. The main blooming period for this flower species is spring during which it bursts into gorgeous shades of red, purple and rose. They make an excellent small scale ground cover and look absolutely splendid in rock gardens and when they are tucked into old stone walls or rock crevices.
For successful cultivation of the Barker’s Double flower, you need to cut back very hard once the flowering period is over in order to ensure that it grows in a tidy manner. If they aren’t cut properly, the growth of the flowers will be straggly and the plant will end up being really thin from the center.
These flowers are also known as “blue cushion” and are popular for their double pinkish-purple blooms. The Campbellii grows to an average height of 8-10 cm and grows in small tuffs. The flowering period for this pant starts in April and ends in May during which it produces stunning purple flowers with shades of pink.
The growth habit of these flowers ranges from carpet-like and mat-like to rose-like and upholstery-like. The flowers of this plant have a cruciform shape and the leaves are lanceolate with a gray-green color.
Some common growing areas for the Campbellii include stone plants on fresh soil, rocks steppes, and stone joints on fresh soil, all of which have to be located in sunny places. They also require well-drained soils in order to grow properly.
This flower species is also called ‘hartswood purple’ and is popularly distinguished by its fairly large and single purple-colored flowers. Its flowers bloom in the early spring season from March to May under full sun or partially shaded growing conditions. It is an evergreen herbaceous perennial that is native to Europe and Central Asia.
The Carnival Aubrieta grows to an average height of 15 cm and is believed to be an extremely useful plant to grow in rock gardens, on walls and dry banks. The plant spreads to about 0.3m and produces leaves that are pale green in color.
This is a wonderful trailing perennial flowering plant that grows to a height of 10 cm and spreads about 40 cm in width. It produces beautiful contrasting violet-purple flowers that blend amazingly well with green variegated foliage and subtle hints of the cream color.
The typical growing period for Dr. Mules aubrieta is the spring season and its flowering stage lasts from April to May. The flowers of this plant are more towards the reddish side with a combination of lush green foliage.
These flowers look really pretty in containers and pots but are even better to plant in front of borders, on banks and for spilling down stone walls.
The best way to grow Dr. Mules is by providing them with ideal growing conditions that include full sun, well-drained soils, and dry areas walls and chalky slopes. One must also properly look after this plant by ensuring proper pruning which involves cutting back once the flowering period is over in order to guarantee compactness.
This plant produces breathtaking purple flowers and grows to an average height of 4 inches. It is a hardy perennial plant that grows best under full sun and has a really easy aftercare procedure.
The Purple Cascade spreads to an average width of 40 cm which makes about 15.7 inches. They need well-drained fertile soil to grow properly after which they should be cut back hard in order to ensure a second flowering flush. These flowers look really pretty when they are grown along a hollow topped wall. You can also produce a multicolored effect by plant different colors or shades of this plant variety.
Also known as “rock cress red carpet”, this variety is a compact tailing and mat-forming evergreen perennial that is majorly characterized by its beautiful red flowers. It grows to an average height of 10 cm and produces lush-green non-variegated leaves.
The flowering period for Red Carpet Aubrieta lasts from April to May and it grows in a flattened cushion-like manner. The plant spreads to over 30-40 cm in width. The leaves of this flowering plant are small, often ovate or oblong in shape and usually sport a mid-to-gray-green color. From mid-spring to early summer, you can expect to see short racemes of four-petaled flowers that are an absolutely stunning shade of reddish purple. Just like their name, these flowers grow in a beautiful blanket that is likely to catch every passerby’s eyes.
The best way to care for the Red Carpet plant is to divide the perennials every two or three years and while doing that, you must also remove all the weak branches and roots in order to ensure better growth and blossom.
This is an extremely popular rock garden plant that produces a cushion of stunning green-gray leaves and very prominent reddish-purple flowers. The lush foliage of this indispensable garden plant remains smothered by its pretty flowers for a number of weeks which provides a very pleasant and aesthetic sight.
The Whitewall Gem is known for growing in a ground-hugging manner and it grows to an average height of 15 cm and spreads to a width of 45 cm. Once the blooming period ends, this plant needs to be trimmed properly in order to encourage a thicker and healthier growth in the future.
The color of the flowers of this Aubrieta plant varies from a mixture of mauve, lilac, and purple. Its blooming period begins early summer and ends in late spring. The foliage produced by this plant is a nice grey-green color and it requires full sun to grow properly.
Some of the most common uses of the Whitewall gem include for ground cover, in containers, alpine and rock and for decorative purposes. In terms of cultivation, you must cut the plants back after the flowering phase in order to promote secondary blooms and healthier foliage growth. It is also important to note here that the flowers won’t grow well under really hot weather conditions or if the soil is drained very poorly.
They are best suited for window boxes, borders, walls, rockeries, and planters.
The Aubrieta flower species have long been cultivated mainly in gardens since 1823. Since then, these beautiful flowers have made their way into numerous other avenues like stone walls, hollow openings, borders, edging plants and containers, to name a few. Wherever they are planted, they end up producing mesmerizing blooms of pink, red, purple and violet flowers!