ags logo
Alpine Garden Society Plant Encyclopaedia
Plant search (Family/Genus/Species etc.)
Previous species: D. drummondii
Next species: D. ×suendemtannii

Dryas octopetala

Description Images

Authors: L.  

Botanical Description

Ground hugging mats can reach 60cm or more across. Leaves l-3cm long, ovate to oblong-elliptic, crenate, glossy, usually deep green above, white downy beneath. Flowers erect, white, 3-4cm across, summer. Arctic to northern temperate zone, on mountains in the south of its range, in open woodland and rocky slopes. This wide ranging species is variable and the following subspecies, varieties and cultivars are sometimes cultivated. D.o. var. angustifolia has narrow leaves averaging less than 5mm wide. Var. argentea (syn. D. lanata and D. vestita) has the leaves downy above and beneath. Subsp. alaskensis (syn. D. alaskensis) produces narrowly ovate, deeply toothed leaves with stalked glands on the mid-vein beneath. Var. asiatica (syn. D. tschonoskii) bears leaves which are shorter, broader and blunter than those of the type. Var. collina produces extra tall flowering stems sometimes 40cm in height. Subsp. hookeriana has leaves averaging at least 5mm wide which are broadest in the middle and taper to the apex. 'Grandiflora' is free-blooming and has flowers 5cm or more across. Var. integrifolia (syn. D. tenella) is free-blooming but small and compact with smaller, more or less toothless leaves having rolled margins and very glossy upper surfaces. Var. lanata (syn. D. lanata) see var. argentea. 'Minor' is a small neat, free-blooming version of the type plant. Var. oxydonta (syn. D. oxydonta) has tiny leaves and large flowers. Var. punctata (syn. D. punctata) bears large glands on the upper leaf surfaces. Var. vestita, see var. argentea.

a, D. drummondii; b, D. hookeriana; c, D. octopetala;