Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Lobularia maritima
sweet alyssum

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California and southwestern U.S., eastward to also occurring throughout central and eastern North America.

Habitat: Escaping from cultivation to roadsides, pastures, and other disturbed areas, often where moist.

Flowers: April-August

Origin: Introduced from the western Mediterranean

Growth Duration: Annual, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Grayish, spreading annual with fragrant flowers, the stems branched from the base, 1-3 dm. tall; herbage with small, appressed, aligned, pick-shaped hairs.


Leaves alternate, linear-oblanceolate, entire,1-4 cm. long and 1-4 mm. broad.


Inflorescence usually of several terminal racemes; pedicles slender, spreading, 5-10 mm. long; sepals 4, 1.5-2 mm. long, soon deciduous; petals 4, white or bluish-tinged, 3-4 mm. long, broadly ovate and short clawed; stamens 6, glands flanking the short filaments oblong, 1 mm. long; style 0.5 mm. long.


Siliques often purplish, oval-elliptic, strongly compressed, 2.5-3.5 mm. long, acute, sparsely hairy; seeds 1 per cell.

Accepted Name:
Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv.
Publication: J. Bot. Agric. 3: 162. 1815.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Alyssum maritimum (L.) Lam.
Clypeola maritima L.
Koniga maritima (L.) R. Br. [Abrams]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lobularia maritima in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lobularia maritima checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Lobularia maritima atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lobularia maritima photos.

USDA Plants: Lobularia maritima information.

8 photographs:
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