Pale Madwort
Alyssum alyssoides (L.) L.
Family: Brassicaceae, Mustard
Genus: Alyssum
Other names: pale alyssum
Nomenclature: alyssoides = healing of madness
Nativity / Invasiveness: introduced plant, weed
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: simple to rather freely branched biennial, sometimes annual, mostly 10-30 cm tall, grayish, covered with flat, star-shaped hairs.

Leaves: alternate, numerous, narrowly oblanceolate, entire, 5-25 mm long.

Flowers: numerous in an elongate, narrow cluster, without bracts at bases. Flower stalks spreading, about 3-4 mm long, eventually about equalling the fruit. Sepals about 2 mm long, with star-shaped hairs as well as some long, soft hairs, persistent until the fruit is nearly mature. Petals 4, cream or white, very narrow, 3-4 mm long. Stamens 6, the 2 shorter ones flanked by linear glands about 1 mm long. Anthers oval. May-July.

Fruits: pods, covered with star-shaped hairs, ovate-oval to almost round in outline, 3-4 mm long, strongly flattened around the edges but bulged in the center over the 2 seeds that are enclosed in each cell. The style is slightly less than 0.5 mm long.


Dry soil along roadsides and in disturbed areas, in w., c. and s.e. parts of MT. A widespread weed throughout most of the U.S. - native of Europe.
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