Gold-Variegated Aubrieta or False Rockcress or Purple Wall Cress or Little Lilacbush
Aubrieta cultorum x deltoidea 'Argenteovariegata' (sometimes hyphenated, or as two words, 'Argento Variegata') is a compact two to four inch tall groundcover, forming a broad mat of tiny green & gold variegated evergreen leaves. In our zone it begins blooming in March & keeps blooming at least until May.
Shown with its very first March books in the above photo, at more than twice life size, the blooms are a rich lilac-blue wonderfully set off by the variegated leaves.
Pronounced ah-BREE-sha, this little alpine flower is very cold-hardy, though it is not evergreen at the lower end of its tolerances. It prefers full sun but does well in partial shade. It prefers a rich loamy soil but also does well in poor soil. It needs well-draining soil, a bit of droughtiness doing it no harm, though excess moisture will kill it. Ours is in partial shade in rich soil, edging a steppingstone path.
It can hump up to eight inches high, but to maintain optimal appearance it needs to be shorn back to within two inches of the ground, after it is finished blooming late in spring or early summer. This will induce fresh leaf growth with perfect color & density, & will very probably induce summer rebloom.
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