candytuft

candytuft

[kan-dee-tuhft]
noun
a plant of the genus Iberis, of the mustard family, especially I. umbellata, an ornamental plant with tufted pink, violet, purple, or red flowers, originally from the island of Crete.

Origin:
1570–80; Candy (variant of Candia) + tuft

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Collins
World English Dictionary
candytuft (ˈkændɪˌtʌft)
 
n
See iberis either of two species of Iberis grown as annual garden plants for their umbels ("tufts") of white, red, or purplish flowers
 
[C17: from Candy, obsolete variant of Candia (Crete) + tuft]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

candytuft

any of about 40 species of Eurasian plants of the genus Iberis, of the mustard family (Brassicaceae). Most species are native to the Mediterranean region. Globe candytuft (I. umbellata), widely grown garden annual native to southern Europe, bears flat clusters of pink, violet, white, purple, or red flowers in late summer. The plants are 40 cm (16 inches) tall and have long, narrow leaves and roundish seedpods. Rocket candytuft (I. amara) has thick, deeply lobed leaves and large, white, often pink-tinged, fragrant flowers on 22-cm (9-inch) stalks. It grows on chalky hills and in fields. Two matting, evergreen perennials with white flowers are I. saxatilis and the larger edging candytuft (I. sempervirens), both from open areas in southern Europe and widely planted in gardens.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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