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LOBULARIA maritima 'Clear Crystal White'

Image of Lobularia maritima 'Clear Crystal White'

Mark A. Miller

Family

Brassicaceae

Botanical Name

LOBULARIA maritima 'Clear Crystal White'

Plant Common Name

Clear Crystal White Alyssum, Sweet Alyssum

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Some old-fashioned bedding annuals never fall out of fashion because they are reliably beautiful and well-suited to lots of garden situations. Sweet alyssum is one of these long-loved gems. This compact herbaceous ornamental is native to the Canary Islands and regions along the Mediterranean. In the wild, it behaves as both an annual or short-lived perennial but is most commonly cultivated as an annual. Gardeners favor it as a bedding or container plant because it forms tidy, spreading mounds and will bloom continuously if provided the correct growing conditions.

The leaves of sweet alyssum are fine, linear and pale green or gray-green. In late spring or early summer it becomes covered with dense, showy clusters of tiny four-petaled white flowers that emit sweet, permeating fragrance. Bloom continues as long as temperatures remain cool. Bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators are attracted to the blooms and small, seed-filled dry fruits follow.

Sweet alyssum is drought tolerant and adapted to seaside conditions, so it does well in sandy or gravelly soils and full sun. It often self-sows, but gently. Popular as a bedding and container plant, it may also be used in rock gardens or along walkways where its strong, sweet fragrance may be easily enjoyed. It grows and flowers well in cool sunny indoor locations. Cut back spent flower stems to encourage additional flushes of bloom. Plants are propagated by seed and bloom about 8 weeks after sowing.

There are many cultivars available, such as the ultra-compact Easter Bonnet Series and spreading ‘Royal Carpet’, which sports deep violet flowers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    11 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tender Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2"-12" / 5.1cm - 30.5cm

  • Width

    8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Mediterranean, Canary Islands

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes