Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Snow-In-Summer
Cerastium tomentosum

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cerastium (ker-RAS-tee-um) (Info)
Species: tomentosum (toh-men-TOH-sum) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

30 members have or want this plant for trade.

Alpines and Rock Gardens

under 6 in. (15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)
USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By poppysue
Thumbnail #1 of Cerastium tomentosum by poppysue

By Evert
Thumbnail #2 of Cerastium tomentosum by Evert

By poppysue
Thumbnail #3 of Cerastium tomentosum by poppysue

By Evert
Thumbnail #4 of Cerastium tomentosum by Evert

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #5 of Cerastium tomentosum by Weezingreens

By Weezingreens
Thumbnail #6 of Cerastium tomentosum by Weezingreens

By poppysue
Thumbnail #7 of Cerastium tomentosum by poppysue

There are a total of 33 photos.
Click here to view them all!


15 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive sladeofsky On May 15, 2013, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have read very conflicting reports about this plant's ability to withstand heat an humidity. This is my second year growing it and so far it is doing well and trust me, it is very hot and humid here in Kentucky.

Positive Clary On Jun 26, 2012, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

The silvery wooly leaves and tremendous resilience of this plant are wonderful. I started a patch from seed and have since divided it all around the garden. I have not found it to be invasive at all.

Positive TiaLee1 On Jun 25, 2012, TiaLee1 from Rathdrum, ID (Zone 5b) wrote:

This plant is tough as nails and gorgeous. The largest mat of it is growing under an old crab apple in the center of a raised and sloping bed that seems to consist of gravel, sand and bark. (former owner) This bed gets plenty of water, due to other species there that need it. I have transplanted some to the front border, where it is in full sun all day and is quite dry. Seems to love it there, as well.

Can't say enough good things about this plant. It is often windy and dry here (zone 5) in summer and wet and cold/frozen in winter. Just a super beautiful, dependable groundcover, sun or shade. (not full shade-dappled morning and afternoon full shade)

Positive llittleredhen On Apr 14, 2012, llittleredhen wrote:

This plant grows well in Merced, CA. Due to the gray appearance of its leave, I am hoping it will be deer resistant in Mariposa, CA. It grows there, but so far the deer have not noticed the small area where it is hidden.

Positive fionaly On Oct 12, 2011, fionaly from Worcester
United Kingdom wrote:

This such a cheerful, pretty trailing/thickly sprawling plant,and so generous in its longevity! Softly tactile, silver grey leaves and the sweetest unpretentious white flowers. It reminds me of my childhood (in north-western England) it grew on a low, wide stone-topped wall, which divided our little front garden from our neighbours'; it seemed to be flowering for months and months on end, and it never actually died! We used to call it 'White Rock'. My father still has some, grown from the original stock, in his border, which is very dry due to several evergreens and hardy shrubs. Last time I visited I took a small rooted sample back to the West Midlands (UK); even though I don't actually have a garden, I have a number of pots around our doorsteps. It's doing quite nicely in a 4'' terracotta pot and hopefully will blossom next year..

Positive lehua_mc On Mar 16, 2010, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Absolutely a no-fail ground cover, which is to say treat it like a ground cover, not a garden plant. I started mine by seed indoors last spring (why not?), and set out a couple starts. They filled in a hot dry corner that summer in no time, and now a year later have disregarded an 8" gravel edge to start mingling with the grass. It stayed a lovely ever grayish pale green throughout the winter, and for that I've decided this is another great tool for all those hard to deal with areas where I need to keep the weeds to a minimum, can't put a "garden plant", but don't want grass.

Positive stormyla On Nov 8, 2009, stormyla from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant grows well is dry windy spots where others fail. It blooms reliably and spreads slowly.

Positive saladgirl On May 15, 2007, saladgirl from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 9a) wrote:

Las Vegas, NV
This plant does well in spite of our summer heat, providing it receives regular (daily in summer) watering and shade in the mid- and late-afternoon. Surprisingly, it has survived year after year.

Positive zillabug On May 22, 2006, zillabug from Cato, NY wrote:

We have had this plant covering a small hillside that nothing else would grow in, and it's proven to be the right plant for the job. During heavy winters (170" snow or more) it has a tendency to thin out, however, it's a prolific re-seeder, and bounces back quite nicely. There are two cultivers that I know of. The more aggresive variety has larger leaves (1 1/2") and has a 'looser', more relaxed look, and covers quickly. The other strain has 1" leaves, and grows slow and tight. This is a handy little plant, but it will need more water in dry, west side plantings verses east side plantings. We have much better luck with the larger leaf variety.

Positive reneesue57 On May 1, 2006, reneesue57 from Oscoda, MI wrote:

Upon moving into our recently renovated 1920's home in Oscoda MI, we needed to plant something that would grow without much fuss on the outside of our fence, between fence and sidewalk. We planted Snow-in-Summer & Russian Sage, alternating three SIS in downward "V" and three RS in upward "V". The result was AMAZING! Beautiful mounds of SNOW half the summer and sprays of lavender sage the other half. It was such a pleasant surprise the first year but when they all came back by themselves without much tending the second year and gave an even MORE spectacular show...well, we were thrilled! The only warning I would give new owners of SIS is to remove any leaves, etc. from atop the green as soon as the snow melts. The leaves will kill the plants quickly.

Positive Gabrielle On Jan 25, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love Snow-In-Summer for a contrast plant; it looks so nice next to a red or purple leaved plant. Light aids germination of seeds.

Blooms mid May to mid June in my garden.

Positive MaryE On Feb 4, 2005, MaryE from Baker City, OR (Zone 5b) wrote:

My single plant has grown to a mat of 25x35 inches, in full sun in a hot dry climate with regular watering. It might have done better if it had more shade since my sun is very intense. I'm thinking of moving it since I want to get another plant or two so I can put a small childs sled in the patch to make it look even more like snow in summer. When I get that set up I will take a picture and post it here.

Positive 433kfj On Nov 13, 2004, 433kfj from klamath falls, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have a large mound of this growing under a pine tree on a slope in front of my house. It's a pretty shady location, but it blooms OK. The problem is that it isn't spreading out, but mounding up. Pine-needles are falling on it and making it like a big mulch pile. I thought I might trim it down lower but I'm afraid the roots might be growing higher in the mound and the original roots below have died out, as it seems to be pretty shallow rooted. This is an old house that I'm renting so I have no idea how long it has been growing there. I'm free to do most any thing I want with the landscape (or what little of it there is!). I'd like to keep it growing, but I think part of the pile might be an ant hill, as there are lots of red ants on this tree ( thank god we don't have fire ants or I'd be dead by now!)

Neutral pokerboy On Aug 13, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

A tough plant, snow in summers gives a great low water grey carpet in cooler zones. Will not tolerate excessive heat or humidity. Its small single white flowers virtually cover the entire plant in summer resembling snow on the mat of foliage. Good border plant. Grow in full sun. pokerboy.

Positive WeedPuhler On Jun 9, 2004, WeedPuhler from Edmonton, Canada

An old perennial favorite, they are the silver-gray back drop to my Tiger and Asiatic lilies and bulbs. It comes back from slumber ready to bloom its head off... We found this groundcover in some neglected beds in our 30 year old garden, it seems that it likes our brutal Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) winters. I grow it on the edges of my raised planters and it tends to make its way to the centre, yet the shallow roots are easy to pull out, and everyone likes getting them! It approves of bone meal, transplants beautifully and is quite forgiving, as long as it has full sun. I mulch it with fresh peat moss in spring, and it makes them grow taller and softer.

Positive imshl12 On Sep 15, 2003, imshl12 from Epsom, NH wrote:

This is an awesome plant for those who are not limited by space! Here in New Hampshire USA, I have never watered it, and it grows in both fertile and non-fertile soil! Here is a beautiful accidental combination I ended up with: In a hurry to plant the pieces of the plant that were given to me I quickly threw them into a bed in which I had planted some tulips in late fall. In the spring, I had these beautiful tall white lily flowering tulips above a dense carpet of white cerastium! Breathtaking! The foliage is great for a moon garden as it is silver and glows in the twilight! No care except occasional weeding as it does form a dense mat and even spreads into the lawn a bit which I love! You can mow right over it!

Neutral killerdaisy On Aug 8, 2001, killerdaisy from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Snow-In-Summer is mat-forming, and is known for it's profuse blooming in late spring/early summer. Dainty, white flowers, with wooly, white leaves. Plants spread to about 24", making it the perfect groundcover. It does not tolerant heat nor humidity, and can become invasive in fertile soil. Divide in spring or fall, every two years.


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

Seward, Alaska
Sitka, Alaska
Flagstaff, Arizona
Belvedere Tiburon, California
Clovis, California
Fairfield, California
Martinez, California
Menifee, California
Penn Valley, California
San Jose, California
Waterbury, Connecticut
Wilmington, Delaware
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Irwin, Idaho
Rathdrum, Idaho
Chadwick, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Saint Charles, Illinois
Greenville, Indiana
Louisville, Kentucky
Westbrook, Maine
Elkton, Maryland
Chicopee, Massachusetts
Norton, Massachusetts
Pepperell, Massachusetts
Bellaire, Michigan
Grand Haven, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Montevideo, Minnesota
Florence, Mississippi
Marietta, Mississippi
Marshfield, Missouri
Fort Benton, Montana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Berlin, New Hampshire
Epsom, New Hampshire
Cato, New York
Jefferson, New York
Port Washington, New York
Staten Island, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Haviland, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Baker City, Oregon
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Jessup, Pennsylvania
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Milford, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Clarksville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
Unicoi, Tennessee
Hereford, Texas
Farmington, Utah
Brewster, Washington
Buckley, Washington
Chimacum, Washington
Moxee, Washington
Poulsbo, Washington
Spokane, Washington (2 reports)
Delavan, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America