Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Fragrant Persian Stonecress
Aethionema schistosum

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aethionema (ee-thee-oh-NEE-muh) (Info)
Species: schistosum (skiz-TOH-sum) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By LilyLover_UT
Thumbnail #1 of Aethionema schistosum by LilyLover_UT

By LilyLover_UT
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By dicentra63
Thumbnail #3 of Aethionema schistosum by dicentra63

By altagardener
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Thumbnail #5 of Aethionema schistosum by altagardener


1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive dicentra63 On May 24, 2012, dicentra63 from West Valley City, UT (Zone 6b) wrote:

LOVE this charming little perennial!

Neutral bluespiral On Jan 28, 2007, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Following are some germination details for this plant:

1)Sow at 20*C (68*F); if no germination in 3 - 4 wks, move to -4*C to +4*C (24*F - 39*F) for 2 - 4 wks.

2) One site says similar to above, except give the warm temperature 3 months, and the cold temperature 1 - 2 months.

3) In the 2nd edition of Norman C. Deno's book, Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Aethionema grandiflorum was researched, but Deno thinks that other species within this genus will follow similar patterns of germination.

He noted that seed dry-stored for 6 months at 70*F or 40*F germinated more quickly than fresh seed, and that sowing the seed at 40*F had a higher germination rate than sowing it at 70*F. Seed sowed at 40*F began germinating in about 7 days, but that process can continue for up to 3 months.

So, although seed of A. schistosum will germinate as in methods #1 and #2, better results might be obtained by sowing seed at 40*F that has been dry stored for 6 months either at 70*F or 40*F.

I would try wintersowing a portion of the seed about 4 - 6 weeks before your last spring frost, and sow another portion with the baggy method to be kept in a refrigerator for 4 weeks to see which works better. Some seeds do better sown outdoors in winter because oscillating temperatures break down their germination inhibitors better than a constant cold temperature as provided by refrigerators.

Information on wintersowing can be found at the Wintersowing Forum on DG

There are basically 2 baggy methods: One uses filter paper for larger seeds, and the other uses a pot for tiny seeds. For the filter-paper/baggy method, see my comment in Allium thunbergii, and for the pot/baggy method, see my comment in Haberlea rhodopensis. Seeds of A. schistosum have their quirks, as above, but they are not known to take as long to germinate as Haberlea, nor to have such tiny roots. Still, don't let the pot dry out, nor get too wet.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Boise, Idaho
Ogden, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah

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