Typically low-growing spreading, mat-forming perennials, or annuals, with opposite leaves. Flowers white, with petals lobed or divided. Found across much of the world.

All are attractive to pollinators, especially flies of several kinds. In addition, they are the larval food plant for a range of moth species. The mat-formers, such as C. tomentosum, help conserve water, and provide shelter for all manner of invertebrates; they can spread and colonize dry or rocky natural habitats, although our variety is probably less prone to spreading. However, as a precaution, steps should be taken to avoid it escaping the confines of the garden.

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