Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Mark A. Miller
LOBULARIA maritima 'Clear Crystal White'
Clear Crystal White Alyssum, Sweet Alyssum
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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.
11 - 1
9 - 11
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
Full Sun, Partial Sun
2"-12" / 5.1cm - 30.5cm
8"-12" / 20.3cm - 30.5cm
Mediterranean, Canary Islands
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Light Green, Gray Green
Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Hanging Basket, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
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