Content Detail

Snow-in-summer is a ground cover that provides both flowers and interesting silvery foliage once the flowers have faded. It is a good ground cover for dry, sunny areas.

  • Family (English) Pink
  • Family (botanic) Caryophyllaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial, Ground cover
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small plant (6-12 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Dry soil, Moist, Sandy soil, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall, mid fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Creeping
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate

More Information

Size and Method of Spreading

Snow-in-summer is a colonizing ground cover that grows up to 6 inches high, but when in full flower may reach up to 10 inches. Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots, and then send up new shoots. Snow-in-summer is generally easy to manage, although some colonizers can be strong growers and have the potential to grow aggressively.

Native Geographic Location and Habitat

Snow-in-summer is native to Europe.

Leaf Description

The small, opposite leaves are narrow and are densely covered with white hairs, which gives them a silvery appearance.

Flower Description

Small, white flowers with notched petals are produced on upright stems in late spring.

Fruit Description

The fruit are small, dry capsules and not ornamentally important.

Care Knowledge

Plant Care

Snow-in-summer needs full sun and good drainage. It does well in low fertility, dry, or shallow, rocky soil. When flowering ends, use a string trimmer to remove the spent flowers for a tidier look. In very humid conditions, the foliage may decline. Trimming the foliage back will encourage new growth.

List of Pests, Diseases, and Tolerances

This ground cover is resistant to drought and not favored by deer.


Silver Carpet snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum ‘Silberteppich’)

This cultivar is more compact and spreads more slowly.

Yo Yo snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum ‘YoYo’)

This slower spreading cultivar produces abundant flowers and is more compact.


Your support is vital to the Arboretum, where the power of trees makes a positive impact on people’s lives.

Make a gift