Wild candytuft is an attractive annual with an erect habit and a much branched stem that forms into a rounded tuft about 40cm tall. The flowers open into flattened clusters and each flower consists of four unequal petals, the pair pointing towards the centre of the cluster being much shorter than the pair facing away. Flowers, which are present from May to August, are usually white but can range from white to deep lilac. The garden candytuft is similar but has larger flowers and is usually hairless.
Wild candytuft is a native annual or occasional biennial of bare, open ground. It is usually found in bare patches of south facing chalk grassland, particularly in rabbit scrapes, but can also be found in quarries, wasteland and as an arable weed. The plant is lost from sites devoid of bare ground but as the seed can remain viable in the soil for many years it can reappear following disturbance.
Grows readily from seed sown at any time of the year.