White Sunrose

'St. Mary'
White Sunrose

"Long time ago
Life had begun
Everyone went to the sun."

-Kenneth King,


I think this cultivar is named for St. Mary's College, but might just as well be named for that startling survival of the Great Goddess, widely worshipped today as Mary Mother of God & according to Saktists in India, a manifestation of Great Kali.

Helianthemum nummularium 'St. Mary' has single white flowers with yellow eyes. These grace this groundcover evergreen in great numbers in late spring & early summer, generally beginning in May. The early May photo above is much larger than life-size; the flowers are each about as large as a quarter.

Sunroses with the greenest leaves, like 'St. Mary,' & as opposed to grey-green & blue-green leafed sunroses, are not quite as radically drought-hardy, though they're pretty close. They have low water needs & require well-draining soil.

Soil can be light & poor or richly organic, but should not be much if at all fertilized. Fertilizing will only cause greater leaf growth & shorten the ultimate lifespan of this subshrub; it will bloom equally well without fertilizing.

Like all sunroses 'St Mary' dislikes shade or wetness, thrives in exposed positions in full sun. It grows to about eight inches height & spreads a foot or eighteen inches. It can spread more after a couple of years but should be trimmed back to keep it compact, or it can get thin in the middle over time.

Prunning or sheering can be done in mid to late summer (shortly after it stops flowering) which can induce rebloom in early autumn. It can alternatively be pruned late winter before new spring growth begins. But it isn't apt to complain if pruned at some "wrong" time of year.


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