from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several plants of the genus Iberis in the mustard family, native to Europe and the Mediterranean region and widely cultivated for their showy clusters of white, pink, crimson, or purple flowers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An annual plant of the genus Iberis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An annual plant of the genus Iberis, cultivated in gardens. The name was originally given to the Iberis umbellata, first, discovered in the island of Candia (The Italian name for Crete). It is grown as an ornamental plant, having tufted red,violet, purple, or pink flowers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The popular name of plants of the genus Iberis, especially I. umbellata, having tufted flowers, brought from the island of Candia. See Iberis.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various flowering plants of the genus Iberis cultivated for their showy clusters of white to red or purple flowers; native to Mediterranean region


Obsolete Candy (variant of Candia 1) + tuft.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Candia, the island on which it was discovered, now called [[Heraklion], + tuft (Wiktionary)



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  • He told me about the chamomiles, the hellebores, the petunias, the sweet williams, the wild pinks, the anemones, the sedums, the candytufts, the peonies, the Syrian opals, the daturas, the flowers that live for only a season, the ones that come back year after year, and the ones that beam from dawn to dusk, displaying their delicate corollas of rosy or mauve convolvulus, only to close abruptly at nightfall, as if a wrathful hand had squeezed their velvet petals and choked them.
    --Philippe Claudel, 2007, By a Slow River, p. 111

    August 6, 2010