Open the Advanced Search


Cerastium tomentosum

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, mountains, roadsides, rocky places, sand dunes, scrub, sea cliffs, seaside, walls, wasteland.

White, 5 petals
The flowers of Snow-in-Summer are small and delicate, featuring a pristine white coloration. These blooms are star-shaped, and when in full display, they create a visually striking effect resembling a blanket of snow covering the plant. The petals are arranged in a radial pattern, forming a charming contrast against the plant's silver-gray foliage. The flowers contribute to the overall appeal of Snow-in-Summer, adding a touch of elegance to its low-growing, spreading form. These blossoms typically emerge in late spring to early summer, enhancing the plant's aesthetic charm during the blooming season. 10 stamens. 5 stigmas.
Snow-in-Summer produces small, capsule-like fruits. These fruits contain seeds and develop after the flowering period. The capsules are typically brown and may split open when mature, releasing the seeds. The reproductive structures are relatively inconspicuous compared to the showy white flowers but play a crucial role in the plant's life cycle by facilitating seed dispersal. As the capsules mature, they contribute to the overall reproductive success of Snow-in-Summer, enabling the plant to propagate and establish itself in its natural habitat.
The leaves of Snow-in-Summer are characterized by their silvery-gray appearance and a soft, woolly texture. These leaves are covered in fine, dense hairs, giving them a downy or tomentose quality. The foliage is typically lance-shaped and arranged opposite each other along the stems. The silver-gray coloration of the leaves adds to the plant's aesthetic appeal, creating a visually striking contrast, especially when the plant is in bloom. The fuzzy texture of the leaves not only contributes to the plant's distinctive appearance but also helps it retain moisture, making it well-adapted to certain dry and arid conditions. An increasingly common garden escape species.
Snow-in-Summer typically has a mild and pleasant fragrance. The scent is not overpowering but rather subtle, contributing to the overall sensory experience when near the plant. While the primary appeal of Snow-in-Summer lies in its visual charm with silvery-gray foliage and white flowers, the delicate fragrance adds an additional layer to its overall allure. The scent is often enjoyed by those who appreciate fragrant gardens, providing a gentle and refreshing olfactory experience in outdoor settings.
Other Names:
Dusty Miller, Jerusalem Star, Snow Plant, Woolly Mouse-ear Chickweed.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Cerastium tomentosum, commonly known as Snow-in-summer, is a species of perennial flowering plant in the Caryophyllaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia and it is hardy in USDA zones 3-8. It typically grows to a height of 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) with a spread of 12-18 inches (30-45 cm). The plant has small, silver-gray, hairy leaves that are arranged in a rosette, and small, white, star-shaped flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer. The flowers are arranged in clusters and they cover the entire plant. Snow-in-Summer is tolerant to drought, heat, and poor soil, it prefers full sun but it can tolerate partial shade. It is often used as a ground cover, in rock gardens, and as an edging plant. It's also used for erosion control on slopes and banks.


Snow-in-Summer, scientifically known as Cerastium tomentosum, is a beautiful perennial herb that is native to Europe but has been naturalized in many parts of North America. It is a member of the family Caryophyllaceae and is a popular choice for rock gardens, borders, and groundcovers due to its low-growing and spreading habit. In this blog, we will explore the characteristics and growing requirements of Snow-in-Summer, as well as some tips on how to care for this lovely plant.


Snow-in-Summer is a low-growing plant that typically reaches a height of 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) and spreads to about 2 feet (60 cm) wide. It has silvery-grey foliage that is covered in fine hairs, giving it a fuzzy appearance. The leaves are small and oval-shaped, and the plant produces small, white flowers that bloom in the early summer. The flowers have five petals and a yellow center and are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. After the flowers have faded, the plant produces small, seed-filled capsules that are dispersed by the wind.

Growing requirements

Snow-in-Summer is a hardy plant that can grow in a wide range of conditions. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil but can tolerate some shade and a variety of soil types, including sandy or rocky soils. It is drought-tolerant and does not require a lot of water once established. However, it will benefit from occasional watering during prolonged dry spells.


Snow-in-Summer can be propagated by seed or by dividing an established plant. If you are starting from seed, sow them in the fall or early spring in a well-draining soil mix. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and keep the soil moist until they germinate, which usually takes about two weeks. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, you can transplant them to their final location.

If you are dividing an established plant, do so in the spring or fall when the plant is not actively growing. Dig up the plant and separate the root ball into smaller sections. Replant the sections in a well-draining soil mix and water thoroughly.


Snow-in-Summer requires minimal care once established. You can prune it back in the fall to encourage a more compact growth habit and remove any dead or damaged foliage. It is also a good idea to mulch around the plant to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. You may also want to fertilize it with a balanced fertilizer once a year in the spring.

Snow-in-Summer is a lovely and low-maintenance plant that can add a touch of beauty to any garden. With its silvery foliage and delicate white flowers, it is a popular choice for rock gardens, borders, and groundcovers. Its adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions makes it an easy plant to care for, and its hardiness ensures that it will survive even the toughest winters.

More Information

Snow-in-Summer is not only a great plant for gardens, but it can also be used for a variety of purposes. The plant is often used in traditional medicine for its medicinal properties, and the leaves can be used to make a tea that is believed to have healing properties.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Snow-in-Summer is also used in the culinary world. The leaves have a slightly bitter and slightly sweet flavor and can be used as a garnish or to flavor salads, soups, and other dishes. The plant is also used in traditional herbal liqueurs, such as Chartreuse.

One of the best things about Snow-in-Summer is that it is a great plant for attracting pollinators to the garden. The small, white flowers are attractive to bees and other pollinators, and they provide an important source of nectar for these important creatures. This makes Snow-in-Summer a great addition to any garden that is focused on attracting and supporting pollinators.

Snow-in-Summer is a versatile and attractive plant that can add beauty and functionality to any garden. With its adaptability and low-maintenance requirements, it is an easy plant to care for, and its ability to attract pollinators and be used for medicinal and culinary purposes makes it an excellent choice for any gardener.

Snow-in-Summer has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. The plant was prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans for its medicinal properties and was used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues and respiratory problems.

In medieval times, Snow-in-Summer was often used in herbal remedies and was believed to have protective properties. The plant was hung in doorways to ward off evil spirits and was also believed to protect against lightning strikes.

Today, Snow-in-Summer continues to be valued for its medicinal properties. The plant is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties, and is often used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, respiratory issues, and skin conditions.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Snow-in-Summer is also a popular choice for landscaping. The plant's silvery foliage and delicate white flowers make it an attractive addition to rock gardens, borders, and other landscaping features. It is also commonly used as a groundcover, as it is low-growing and spreads quickly to form a dense carpet of foliage.

Snow-in-Summer is a versatile and useful plant that has been valued by humans for centuries. Whether you are interested in its medicinal properties or simply looking for an attractive and low-maintenance plant for your garden, Snow-in-Summer is a great choice. With its adaptability, hardiness, and versatility, it is sure to be a valuable addition to any garden.

Snow-in-Summer is a hardy and adaptable plant that can thrive in a variety of conditions. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade and dry conditions. The plant is also drought-tolerant, making it an excellent choice for gardens in areas with low rainfall.

One of the reasons Snow-in-Summer is so hardy is because it has a deep root system that allows it to access moisture and nutrients from deeper in the soil. This makes it a good choice for areas with poor soil quality or low fertility.

When it comes to maintenance, Snow-in-Summer is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It requires little watering once it is established and is not susceptible to many diseases or pests. However, it is important to prune the plant back after flowering to prevent it from becoming too leggy and to promote bushier growth.

If you are interested in adding Snow-in-Summer to your garden, there are a few different varieties to choose from. Some of the most popular varieties include 'Yo Yo', which has a compact and bushy growth habit, and 'Silver Carpet', which forms a dense mat of foliage and is excellent for use as a groundcover.

30 Snow-in-Summer Facts

  1. Scientific Name: Cerastium tomentosum, commonly known as Snow-in-Summer.
  2. Family: Caryophyllaceae.
  3. Native Habitat: Native to the mountainous regions of Europe, specifically the Alps.
  4. Description: A low-growing perennial plant with silver-gray, fuzzy leaves.
  5. Flowering Time: Typically blooms in late spring to early summer.
  6. Flower Appearance: Small, white, star-shaped flowers that cover the plant, creating a "snowy" effect.
  7. Growth Form: Forms dense mats, spreading by rhizomes and self-seeding.
  8. Sun Requirements: Prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
  9. Soil Preference: Well-draining soil is essential for optimal growth.
  10. Drought Tolerance: Drought-resistant once established.
  11. Hardiness Zones: Suitable for zones 3 to 7.
  12. Common Uses: Often used as a ground cover in rock gardens, borders, and as an ornamental plant.
  13. Foliage Texture: Silky, woolly hairs cover the leaves, giving a soft and fuzzy texture.
  14. Height: Typically grows to a height of 6 to 12 inches.
  15. Cultural Significance: Named for its ability to create a snowy appearance when in full bloom.
  16. Wildlife Attraction: The flowers attract bees and butterflies.
  17. Maintenance: Low-maintenance plant, but may benefit from occasional pruning to control its spread.
  18. Medicinal Uses: Traditional medicinal uses include treatments for skin ailments and respiratory issues.
  19. Adaptability: Adapts well to various soil types but thrives in alkaline soils.
  20. Invasive Potential: Can be invasive in some regions due to its vigorous spreading.
  21. Landscaping Value: Adds a touch of elegance and brightness to garden landscapes.
  22. Seasonal Interest: Retains its silver-gray foliage even when not in bloom, providing year-round interest.
  23. Cultural Challenges: Susceptible to root rot in poorly drained soils.
  24. Propagation: Easily propagated from seeds or by division.
  25. Deer Resistance: Generally resistant to deer browsing.
  26. Common Pests: Relatively pest-resistant but may be susceptible to aphids and spider mites.
  27. Symbolism: Often symbolizes purity and resilience due to its white flowers and hardiness.
  28. Fragrance: Typically has a mild, pleasant fragrance.
  29. Companion Plants: Combines well with other low-growing perennials in garden designs.
  30. Garden Design: Adds a charming and whimsical element to cottage gardens and rockeries.


Snow-in-summer filmed at Hightown in Lancashire on the 20th May 2023.


Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map