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Alyssum montanum ENBLA06.jpg
Alyssum montanum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Alyssum

See text

Alyssum is a genus of about 100–170 species of flowering plants in the family Brassicaceae, native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean region. The genus comprises annual and perennial herbaceous plants or (rarely) small shrubs, growing to 10–100 cm tall, with oblong-oval leaves. Alyssum flowers are characteristically small and grouped in terminal clusters;[1] they are often yellow or white colored but can be pink or purple.

The genera Lobularia and Aurinia are closely related to Alyssum and were formerly included in it. The widely cultivated species popularly known as "sweet alyssum" is Lobularia maritima. The common rockery plant is Aurinia saxatilis.

Alyssum foliage is used as food by the caterpillars of certain Lepidoptera, including the Gem (Orthonama obstipata). However, rabbits will not eat it.[2]

Selected species[edit]

Formerly included[edit]


  1. ^ "Alyssum". The Macmillan Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ "Home". Garden Guides.