alyssum, any species of the genus Alyssum of the family Cruciferae (mustard family), annual and perennial herbs native to the Mediterranean area. A few species, notably the perennial golden tuft (A. saxatile), are cultivated as rock-garden or border ornamentals for their masses of yellow or white flowers. The annual sweet alyssum (called A. maritima but separated by most botanists as Lobularia maritima) is a similar plant with fragrant white or lilac blossoms. The alyssums have been called madwort or heal-bite because of an old belief that they cured rabies. Alyssum is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Capparales, family Cruciferae.

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 and yellow or white flowers (pink to purple in a few species).

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.Selected species

  • Alyssum gustavssonii
  • Alyssum handelii
  • Alyssum heldreichii
  • Alyssum heterotrichum
  • Alyssum hirsutum
  • Alyssum homalocarpum
  • Alyssum idaeum
  • Alyssum lanceolatum
  • Alyssum lapeyrousianum
  • Alyssum lassiticum
  • Alyssum lenense
  • Alyssum ligusticum
  • Alyssum linifolium
  • Alyssum longicaule
  • Alyssum longistylum
  • Alyssum macrocarpum
  • Alyssum marginatum
  • Alyssum markgrafii
  • Alyssum minus
  • Alyssum minutum
  • Alyssum moellendorfianum
  • Alyssum montanum
  • Alyssum murale
  • Alyssum nebrodense
  • Alyssum nevadense
  • Alyssum obovatum
  • Alyssum obtusifolium
  • Alyssum ovirense
  • Alyssum pulvinare
  • Alyssum purpureum
  • Alyssum pyrenaicum
  • Alyssum repens
  • Alyssum reverchonii
  • Alyssum robertianum
  • Alyssum rostratum
  • Alyssum scardicum
  • Alyssum serpyllifolium
  • Alyssum sibiricum
  • Alyssum siculum
  • Alyssum simplex
  • Alyssum smolikanum
  • Alyssum smyrnaeum
  • Alyssum sphacioticum
  • Alyssum spinosum
  • Alyssum stapfii
  • Alyssum stribrnyi
  • Alyssum szowitsianum
  • Alyssum tavolarae
  • Alyssum taygeteum
  • Alyssum tenium
  • Alyssum tenuifolium
  • Alyssum tortuosum
  • Alyssum turkestanicum
  • Alyssum umbellatum
  • Alyssum wierzbickii
  • Alyssum wulfenianum
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