545 Lobularia maritimaCommon Names: sweet alyssum Family: Brassicaceae (cabbage Family)
This low growing woody stemmed perennial is usually grown as an annual by most gardeners. Forming dense mats less than 9 in (30 cm) in height sweet alyssum covers itself densely with delicate white, pink or purple blossoms to create splashes of color in the landscape. Flowers are arranged in terminal clusters and come in single and double with a fragrance that resembles warm honey. Leaves are narrow, about 1 in (2.5 cm) long and covered with tiny white hairs.
Sweet Alyssum, Lobularia maritima, and the four other members of this genus are native to regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
CulturePrefers light enriched soil. Light: Full sun is best but will tolerate some shade. Moisture: Provide water when dry. Too much watering will cause this plant to rot. Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 - 9. Although sweet alyssum is a perennial it is usually grown as an annual as it becomes scraggly by it's second year. Propagation: By seed sown indoors or outdoors after frosts have passed. Thin plants to 6 inches apart, they will bloom in about 45 days. To save time and effort, purchase sweet alyssum in cell packs from your nursery.
Due to it low profile, sweet alyssum is the perfect candidate for borders and edging. Use it to create living carpets or among the stones in rock gardens. In Florida sweet alyssum is one of our winter bedding plants while in much of the rest of the country it is a favorite summertime bedding plant.
Sweet alyssum's unique low growing form and tendency to bloom over an extended period make it an invaluable component of the gardener's repertoire. This plant is inexpensive and widely available. The delicate fragrance is a bonus.
Jack Scheper 04/26/99; updated 2/8/04, 2/2/11