Deeply fragrant, bell-shaped, densely rounded umbels of yellow-white flowers, an unusual colour in this family, open in early summer, although the yellow is produced by the multitude of attractive pollen-covered anthers. These are borne above clumps of stiff grey-green linear leaves. A bone hardy alpine-zone inhabitant, it is found, as its name suggests, in the Altai Mountains ('Altai' means 'gold mountain' in Mongolian). It is also native to Asiatic Russia (Altay, Buryatiya, Zabaykalsky Krai, Irkutsk, Tuva, Amur Oblast), Mongolia, Kazakhstan and northern China (Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Xinjiang). But I bet you didn't need to know all of that!
For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.