Aubrieta is a genus that includes 12 species of flowering plants. Named after French painter Claude Aubriet, these plants originated from southern Europe and central Asia, and they can now be found throughout the continent of Europe. All species share the same growth behavior and general appearance. This genus is characterized by brightly colored flowers that bloom in white, pink, and violet to blue colors.
The flowers of Aubrieta usually measure ¾ inch (0.9 cm) and have small, green leaves trimmed with the color gold. These plants can grow up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) off the ground, but they are commonly trimmed to make them appear like a carpet. Aubrieta blooms around April to June, spreading low on rocks and banks. Plants that belong to the genus are able to thrive in well-drained soil and sunny places. They are tolerant of various acidic levels and do not require much attention and care.
Lilacbush, or Aubrieta deltoidea, is a species grown worldwide for ornamental purposes. It has purple petals and green carpet-forming leaves. The variety JS Baker produces deep violet to blue petals. Its flowers measure 0.6 inches (15 mm) and have a white center, while the leaves are soft green and oval-shaped.
The Anne Kendall variety produces mauve blooms and grows up to 10 inches (25.4 cm). It blooms later than other varieties, such as blue cascade, which produces light blue flowers earlier in the spring. Whitewall gem is a variety that produces lilac-purple flowers. It is a trailing species, ideal for tumbling over rocks or walls. Hamburger Stadpark, another blue variety of Aubrieta, produces thick, cascading foliage.
Kitte Rose, or Aubrieta gracilis, bears large pink flowers. It is distinctly different from the other varieties, which are often blue and purple with small blooms. The leaves of this plant are compact underneath their large flowers, making them ideal for filling spaces between stepping stones. Another variety is Bressingham red, one which produces purple-red flowers. Dr. Mules variegated is a variety that has purple-blue flowers and foliage in cream and green.
The most popular use of the Aubrieta is as an ornamental plant. They serve as an accent to a garden as long as they are positioned strategically to encourage their ideal and optimum growth. The plants can take only light foot traffic, so it is best to use them in areas where they will not be damaged by being stepped on.