Perennials & Ornamental Grasses

Goose cress - 10 magical varieties presented


The goose cress not only looks beautiful in the garden, you can even eat the flowers. The different varieties, which vary in color, provide a little more variety.

© LianeM -

The goose cress (Arabis) is one of the cruciferous plants. The type was first mentioned by Carl von Linné in 1753. Around 70 plant species occur worldwide. Around 30 different goose cresses are native to Central Europe.

Some of the species that occur in Central Europe are presented here in more detail.

The 10 most beautiful varieties at a glance

Blue Gänsekresse

The blue goose cress is a perennial plant that grows quite low and only grows to a maximum of ten centimeters. The stems are hairy up to the inflorescences. The fleshy leaves emerge from a rosette. The elongated leaves have eyelashes on their edges. The grape-shaped flowers appear whitish to bluish purple. The petals can reach lengths of up to five millimeters. The pods are a maximum of three centimeters long. The blue goose flowers between July and September.

The plant occurs only in the Alpine region and grows there on a rather damp surface at altitudes between 1,900 and 3,500 meters.

Arabis alpina

The Alpine goose is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches stature heights of between 10 and 40 centimeters. The stems are branched. The oval base leaves appear in rosettes. The Alpine goose flowers from spring to autumn. It is not uncommon for the plants to bloom in winter. The Alpine goose flowers white and forms about five centimeters long pods. The seeds are scattered on the snow.

" Tip: This type of goose cress was the first to detect a type of downy mildew that also affects other cruciferous plants. This mushroom is on the red list in Saxony.

The plants love a calcareous soil and prefer to thrive on rubble heaps or in rocky areas. The distribution area of ‚Äč‚Äčthis kind extends from Europe over the east of North America to Greenland. Occurrences of up to 2,400 meters have been found in the Allgäu Alps.

Wire-haired goose cress

The hairy goose cress is also known in our latitudes under the names hairy goose cress or rough goose cress. Upright stems are formed on the two-year-old plants, which grow from a rosette. The leaves lie close to the stems. Leaves and stems are densely hairy. The flowers appear at the end of the stems. The white petals can be up to seven centimeters long. The flowers appear from May to June. The flowers form pods up to five centimeters long, which contain the red-brown seeds.

The plants prefer calcareous soils and grow on slopes, on forest edges or in moorland. In the Allgäu Alps, deposits not far from the Gieselerwand can be found up to 2,000 meters.

Arrow Rock Cress

The arrow-leaf goose cress grows over several years and can reach a height of about half a meter. Only a few stems are formed. The leaves are arrow-shaped and relatively long. The lower and middle stem leaves have hair. The white flowers appear in May and delight hobby gardeners well into July. Up to 50 flowers can appear on one inflorescence. The pods are over five centimeters long and stand upright and dense.

The arrow goose cress is almost nationwide in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In Austria there are no occurrences in Vorarlberg. In the Bohemian Forest and in the northern foothills of the Alps, deposits are declining. Arrow goose also grows in Asia.

Nice goose cress

The Doldige goose cress grows continuously and is one of the lowest species. The growth height varies between six and thirty centimeters. The leaves are hairy. The white flowers appear between May and July. If you plant the Doldige goose cress, there will be a lot of bees in your garden. The sepals are often provided with a purple tip and reach a length of up to five centimeters. The pods are about two centimeters long and appear along the up to five centimeters long stem.
Doldige goose cress is widespread in the Alps. The plants can be found on calcareous and stony ground at altitudes of up to 2,200 meters. This species is rather rare in the foothills of the Alps. In addition to the Alps, the Doldige goose cress is also common in the Balkans, in the Apennines or in the Pyrenees.

Weekly goose cress

This goose cress only occurs in the southern part of the Limestone Alps. The designation refers to occurrences in the Wochein region in the Julian Alps. The Wocheiner goose cress grows persistently and herbaceously. This variety only grows to a maximum of 15 centimeters. If you want to keep the overview in the bed, the Wochein goose cress is the ideal plant because there are no runners. The upright stems are hairy. The base leaves have an upside-down egg-shaped shape. The flowers are in dense clusters. The flowering period begins in June and extends into July. The white petals can be up to seven millimeters long.

Occurrences of Wochein's goose cress can only be found in the Southern Limestone Alps. This species can be found in Southern Carinthia or Slovenia.

Goose cress

The little goose cress is one of the few annual plants of the goose cress. The stature height is a maximum of 40 centimeters. The base leaves wither during the flowering period. Only a few upright stems are formed. The stems are hairy. Goose cress, native to Central Europe, blooms between April and May.

Flat-pod goose cress

The flat-sheet goose cress grows one to two years old. Stately heights of up to 80 centimeters can be achieved. The stems are hairy only in the lower area. There are over 50 overlapping stem leaves on one plant. The flat-pod goose cress blooms between May and July. The pods appear upright and are pressed close to the stems. The plants mainly prefer glacial valleys. In our latitudes, the flat-pod goose cress has become rare. The plant died out in Saxony, Thuringia, Salzburg and Carinthia. The main occurrences are found in light floodplain forests and on wet meadows.

Caucasus goose cress

This plant is perennial and forms pretty cushions in the rock garden. The white flowers appear between April and May. The plant has toothed edges and tongue-shaped leaves. A sunny to partially shaded location is preferred. The soil should be sandy and permeable so that it does not get waterlogged. You can place ten plants on one square meter. Young plants need constant irrigation.

Arend's goose cress

Arend's goose cress grows 10 to 15 centimeters high. The attractive dark pink flowers appear in May. The hardy plant is a popular bee pasture. The planting can be done in rock gardens, flower beds or in a tub. Arend's goose cress has gray-green, tongue-shaped leaves and thrives in the sun as well as in partial shade. Fresh soils are preferred. The irrigation water should drain off well so that no waterlogging occurs.

Other species and their distribution areas

Arabis Typecirculation area
Arabis amplexicaulisIndia, Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan
Arabis bijugaPakistan, Kashmir
Arabis blepharophyllaCalifornia
Arabis flagellosaJapan, China
Arabis paniculataTibet, Nepal, China
Arabis parvulaAlgeria, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia
Arabis scopolianaBalkan peninsula
Arabis serpillifoliaFrance, Italy, Spain, Switzerland
Arabis serrataJapan, Taiwan, Korea
Arabis ferdinandi-coburgiiBulgaria