Dryas are small hardy perennial creepers.
They flower from the end of spring through to summer.
Plants usually have white flowers, and attractive feathery seeds.
The common name for Dryas include Mountain Avens.
Due to their small size and creeping nature they make ideal plants for use in rock gardens.
Dryas octopetala - White Mountain-Avens by pellaea.
Common Names: Mountain Avens, White Dryas, Drummond’s Avens, Entire-leaved Avens.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 4 inches (10 cm).
Native: Northern America, Europe, Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 2 to 6.
Flowers: Late spring through to summer.
Flower Details: White, yellow, lemon. Yellow centre. Cup-shaped.
Foliage: Evergreen. Dark green. Small leaves. Glabrous on the top surface. Attractive feathery seeds.
Sowing: Cover seed. Germination time. Spacing 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm).
Seed: Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoors at the beginning of spring and keep at 60 to 70°F (16 to 21°C). Transplant seedlings in the spring or autumn.
Seed: Method 2: In the spring, mix seeds in a moist growing medium, then put in flats, wrap in a large plastic bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the flats in a shaded area and provide a glass/plastic cover. Once seedlings are strong transplant them to their final location.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Peaty soil, gritty, sandy, and moist. Supply spring mulch of 50% leaf mold and 50% chipped rock. Water during prolonged dry spells to keep soil moist. Remove secondary creeping stems. Propagate: by dividing by in the spring; alternatively Dryas cuttings can be took towards the end of summer.
Miscellaneous: Provides food and cover for small mammals and birds.
Mountain Avens are not the easiest plants in the world to grow and maintain. The seeds should be sown into flats and lightly covered in the Autumn; but first the seeds require to be imbibed by placing the seeds (within soil) in a black bag, then placing in the fridge for three weeks. Seeds should then be sown out into the flats and kept at a temperature of 16 to 20 Celsius.
Mountain Avens can take anything from 2 months to a full year to germinate. Once you get Dryas seedlings they should be transplanted (in the spring or autumn) into a sunny or lightly shaded part of the garden. Ideally Mountain Avens likes to grow in a moist soil that is slightly alkaline in nature, and peaty or sandy. The young Mountain Avens seedlings should be planted about 30 to 40 cm apart.
Once growing it will be necessary to care for Dryas plants by mulching in the spring, and cutting back the creepers that the plant grows. If you require more plants do not do it from the creepers but divide the Dryas plants towards the end of summer (this will result in better flowers than from taking plants from the creepers).
I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Dryas plants. Updated September 2020.