Definitions

Alyssum maritimum

Lobularia maritima

Lobularia maritima (syn. Alyssum maritimum; common name Sweet Alyssum or Sweet Alison, also commonly referred to as just Alyssum from the genus in which it was formerly classified) is a low-growing flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, native to the Mediterranean region and Macaronesia (Canary Islands, Azores).

It is an annual plant (rarely a short-lived perennial plant) growing to 10-30 cm tall. The leaves are 1-4 cm long and 3-5 mm broad, oval to lanceolate, with an entire margin. The flowers are sweet-smelling white (rarely pink or lavender), with four petals; they are produced throughout the growing season, or year-round in areas free of frost.

Cultivation and uses

Lobularia maritima is best planted in early spring, but requires little maintenance when growing. It will flower more profusely if spent blooms are trimmed. When grown in gardens, it is typically used as ground cover, as it rarely grows higher than 20 cm tall.

It prefers partial shade, and is resistant to heat and drought. Plants with darker-colored flowers do better in cooler temperatures.

It has become widely naturalised throughout the temperate regions of the world.

Other synonyms include Alyssum odoratum, Clypeola maritima and Koniga maritima.

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