Aethionema (Lebanon Cress)

AETHIONEMA (Lebanon Cress) Cruciferae A. cordifolium

HABITAT:  Native to mountains of Southern Turkey and Lebanon. Perennial.

USES:  Border, rock garden, cut flowers.

HABIT:  Perennial with many un-branched stems, with linear, somewhat fleshy, blue-green small leaves.  Rose-pink flowers with petals up to one-half inch on stems to six inches. Flowers appear in May and June on these compact plants resembling Candytuft.

SEED GERMINATION: For earliest flowering start seeds indoors in late winter, about six to eight weeks before last frost. Spread moist Park's Grow Mix even with the top of a shallow container.  Sow seeds in shallow rows and cover to their thickness.  Bottom water and place in warm location about 70°F.  Gentle bottom heat with a soil-heating cable speeds germination.  Keep moist, never allow to dry out.  After seeds sprout, provide plenty of light, avoid excessive watering and drafts.  When four leaves develop, transplant 2 1/4" pots.  After danger of frost, set out to harden plants in a protected area for two or three days.

CULTURE:  Plant in a sunny site that has good drainage and soil. Enhance poor soil by incorporating organic material such as peat moss, compost, or leaf mold.  Set plants 12 inches apart.

INSECTS:  Aphids:  Use an approved insecticide such as Malathion or Rotenone for control. Root Knot Nematode: Use an approved insecticide if available. Caterpillar:  Use an approved insecticide such as Sevin for control.

DISEASES:  Mildew:  Use an approved fungicide such as Benlate for control. Rust:  Use every 7-10 days an approved fungicide such as Ferbam or Zineb.

PROPAGATION:  Division, cuttings, seed.