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Perennials > Dryas > Dryas octopetala > Dryas octopetala

Dryas octopetala

White Dryas, Mountain Avens

Origin:  Mountains in the Northern hemisphere including Italy, Great Britain, and Poland.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


Dryas octopetala is a great groundcover plant that retains its leaves year round. This ornamental plant is best known for the numerous flowers it produces making the plant of great ornamental value. Mountain Avens is usually planted in rock gardens, but is well suited in many places including creeping walls, along walkways and around the edges of patios or scale gardens.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


USDA Hardiness Zone
6b - 6a
Canadian Hardiness Zone
6a - 6b
RHS Hardiness Zone
10 cm
1 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Dryas octopetala is a ground cover evergreen that is very mat-like. The plant is best known for the white flowers that usually appear in July or August.
Dryas octopetala is usually planted in rock gardens as a ground cover. Plant them approximately 30 cm apart in order for the plant to form a continuous mat. The plant is also known for growing up walls.
Dryas octopetala can grow in many different soil types and pH levels, but requires full sun and moist soils.
Dryas octopetala is a low growing, ground cover plant that resembles a mat.
ID Characteristic
Easily identified as a low growing ground cover that has flowers, each with eight white petals. The leaves have toothed margins and they have a white underside. The leaves are similar looking to Oak leaves.
There are no serious pests or diseases.
This ground cover plant is usually planted in rock gardens and it likes to grow on limestone rocks.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Flower buds on Dryas octopetala have black hairs on the sepals and are approximately 1 cm.
Leaf Description
The leaves have toothed margins and a white underside which are very similar looking to Oak leaves.
Flower Description
The flowers have eight petals that are a creamy white in colour. The filaments are yellow and the whole flower grows approximately 5 cm above the foliage.
Fruit Description
The fruit is approximately 2-3 cm. It is an indehiscent achene. The feathery tail helps with the distribution of seeds.
Colour Description
Dryas octopetala’s leaves are a rich dark green colour with a white underside.
Texture Description
This low growing perennial is medium textured.
Notable Specimens
There are many specimens of Dryas octopetala on the Tatra Mountains in Poland and in Inchndamph, Highland, Great Britain.
When the seeds are ripe, they should be sown in pots in a cold frame or under a covered area outdoors. If the seed is stored it needs to be stratified in a moist, cold area. Germination occurs from 1-12 months. For the first year, grow them in a greenhouse. When they are ready for their permanent positions, plant them just after the last expected frost.
Mellor, A. Evelyn. The seedling structure of Dryas octopetala. London: A. Brown & Sons, 1911. Print.