Open the Advanced Search

Sweet Alyssum

Lobularia maritima

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Beaches, fields, gardens, grassland, meadows, parks, rocky places, sand dunes, seaside, wasteland, woodland.

White, 4 petals
Sweet Alyssum is a charming and petite flowering plant with delicate blooms. The flowers, shaped like small clusters, come in a variety of colours, including white, pink, purple, and lavender. Each flower consists of four petals, creating a dainty and intricate appearance. The fragrance of these blossoms is sweet, reminiscent of honey, adding an enchanting element to the garden. The plant itself has a low, spreading growth habit, forming a lush carpet of green foliage. Its leaves are small and lance-shaped, contributing to the overall compact and neat appearance of the plant. This easy-to-grow annual or perennial (in milder climates) is well-suited for gardens, containers, and hanging baskets, bringing a touch of floral elegance to outdoor spaces. The flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, enhancing the biodiversity of the garden. Sweet Alyssum's adaptability to various habitats and its low-maintenance nature make it a delightful choice for UK gardens and landscapes.
Sweet Alyssum is not typically grown for its fruit, as it is primarily cultivated for its attractive and fragrant flowers. The plant produces small, inconspicuous fruits that are not commonly a focal point in gardening discussions. The main ornamental appeal of Sweet Alyssum lies in its profusion of tiny, colourful blooms rather than any distinctive or notable fruit. Gardeners and horticulturists generally appreciate this plant for its floral display and ground-covering qualities rather than for any significant fruiting characteristics.
Sweet Alyssum features small, lance-shaped leaves that contribute to its overall compact and neat appearance. The leaves are typically green in colour and form a dense carpet of foliage beneath the delicate clusters of flowers. These leaves are relatively small in size, adding to the fine texture of the plant. The foliage serves as an attractive backdrop to the colourful blooms, creating a lush and visually appealing garden display. While the primary focus of Sweet Alyssum is on its charming flowers, the modest and unobtrusive leaves play a supportive role in enhancing the overall aesthetic of this ornamental plant in UK gardens.
Sweet Alyssum is renowned for its delightful fragrance, reminiscent of honey. The small, delicate flowers emit a sweet and pleasant scent that adds an enchanting quality to gardens and outdoor spaces. As you walk by or brush against the plant, the fragrance is released into the air, creating a subtle and aromatic atmosphere. This sweet scent, often described as honey-like, contributes to the overall appeal of Sweet Alyssum as an ornamental plant, making it a popular choice for those who appreciate fragrant additions to their garden landscapes in the UK.
Other Names:
Seaside Lobularia, Sweet Alice, Sweet Alison.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Lobularia maritima, also known as sweet alyssum or sweet Alison, is a annual or perennial plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. It belongs to the mustard family and is known for its small, white, pink, or purple flowers and fragrant, dense foliage. Lobularia maritima is a low-growing plant that spreads quickly and is often used as a groundcover in gardens. It is easy to grow and is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and climates. Lobularia maritima prefers full sun to partial shade and is drought-tolerant once established. The plant is generally hardy and low maintenance, but it can be prone to pests such as slugs and snails. Lobularia maritima is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects and to determine the safety and effectiveness of using it medicinally.


Sweet Alyssum, also known as Lobularia maritima, is a beautiful and versatile flowering plant that is perfect for any garden. This hardy plant is a great choice for gardeners of all levels, as it is easy to grow and maintain.

One of the best things about Sweet Alyssum is its delicate and fragrant flowers. The small clusters of white, pink, lavender, or purple flowers bloom from spring to fall, making it a great addition to any garden. The flowers are also popular with bees and butterflies, making it a great choice for those looking to attract pollinators to their garden.

Sweet Alyssum is also known for its low maintenance requirements. The plant is drought-tolerant and can thrive in a variety of soil types, making it a great choice for gardeners who are looking for a hardy plant that doesn't require a lot of care. It also does well in full sun to partial shade, so it can be planted in a variety of locations in the garden.

Another great feature of Sweet Alyssum is its versatility. It can be planted in flower beds, borders, and rock gardens, and it also makes a great ground cover. It can also be used in container gardens and as a hanging plant. Furthermore, its small size makes it a great choice for small gardens or for planting in between larger plants.

Sweet Alyssum is also a great choice for those looking for a plant that can be used in cut flower arrangements. The small clusters of flowers can be cut and used in bouquets, adding a touch of elegance and fragrance to any room.

In terms of care and maintenance, Sweet Alyssum is a very low-maintenance plant. It does not require regular fertilization and can tolerate a wide range of soil types. However, it does prefer well-drained soil and should be watered regularly to keep the soil consistently moist. It's also important to note that Sweet Alyssum is a short-lived perennial and will die back in the fall and winter. But it can be easily propagated by taking stem cuttings in spring or early summer and rooting them in moist soil.

Sweet Alyssum can also be grown indoors in a sunny window. It prefers bright, indirect light, and should be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. If grown indoors, it's important to keep the plant away from drafts, as it is sensitive to sudden changes in temperature.

Sweet Alyssum is also resistant to most pests and diseases, making it an ideal choice for gardeners who want a plant that is easy to care for. However, it can be susceptible to powdery mildew and other fungal diseases if grown in damp, humid conditions. Therefore, it's essential to provide good air circulation and keep the plant dry to prevent fungal growth.

Another great aspect of Sweet Alyssum is its ability to be used in a variety of gardening styles. It is a popular choice for cottage gardens and Mediterranean gardens, as it adds a touch of elegance and charm to these garden styles. It can also be used in a formal garden setting, planted in neat rows along a garden path or used as a border.

Sweet Alyssum is also a great choice for gardeners who want to create a low-maintenance garden. It can be planted as a ground cover, and it will spread quickly to fill in bare spots in the garden. This can be especially useful in areas where it's hard to grow other plants, such as rocky or sandy soil.

It is also an excellent choice for gardeners looking to create a colorful garden, as it comes in a variety of colors, including white, pink, lavender, and purple. This allows gardeners to mix and match colors to create a colorful display. And because the plant is small, it can be planted in between larger plants, providing a pop of color without taking up too much space.

Sweet Alyssum is also a great plant for gardeners who live in areas with cold winters. It is hardy in USDA zones 3-9, and it can survive even in the coldest climates. In fact, it's a great choice for gardeners who live in areas with cold winters, as it will come back year after year, providing a reliable source of color and fragrance in the garden.

In summary, Sweet Alyssum is a versatile, low-maintenance, and hardy plant that can be used in a variety of gardening settings, from cottage gardens to Mediterranean gardens and formal gardens. It's a great choice for gardeners of all levels, and it is an excellent addition to any garden. With its delicate flowers and wide range of colors, it is sure to add a touch of beauty and charm to any outdoor space.

30 Amazing Sweet Alyssum Facts

  1. Botanical Name: Sweet Alyssum is known scientifically as Lobularia maritima.

  2. Size: It typically grows as a low, spreading plant, reaching heights of 3 to 6 inches.

  3. Origin: Sweet Alyssum is native to the Mediterranean region.

  4. Annual or Perennial: It is often grown as an annual, but in mild climates, it can behave as a perennial.

  5. Flowering Season: This plant produces masses of small, fragrant flowers from late spring through fall.

  6. Fragrance: Sweet Alyssum has a sweet, honey-like fragrance, which attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies.

  7. Color Varieties: Flowers come in various colors, including white, pink, purple, and lavender.

  8. Adaptability: It is well-suited for both garden beds and containers, making it a versatile choice for landscaping.

  9. Drought Tolerance: Sweet Alyssum is drought-tolerant once established, making it suitable for xeriscaping.

  10. Sun Requirements: Prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

  11. Soil Preference: Thrives in well-draining soil with a slightly alkaline pH.

  12. Easy to Grow: Known for its easy cultivation, Sweet Alyssum is a great choice for beginner gardeners.

  13. Ground Cover: Its spreading growth habit makes it an excellent ground cover plant.

  14. Attracts Beneficial Insects: Besides bees and butterflies, it attracts beneficial insects that help control garden pests.

  15. Self-Seeding: Sweet Alyssum is capable of self-seeding, leading to naturalized colonies in the garden.

  16. Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care, making it a low-maintenance plant.

  17. Use in Edging: Often used as an edging plant in flower beds and borders.

  18. Container Gardening: Well-suited for container gardening, hanging baskets, and window boxes.

  19. Cold Tolerance: Can withstand mild frost, extending its growing season in cooler climates.

  20. Cut Flower: Suitable as a cut flower for small arrangements and bouquets.

  21. Versatile Companion Plant: Works well as a companion plant with vegetables and other flowering plants.

  22. Pest Resistance: Generally resistant to common garden pests.

  23. Disease Resistance: Exhibits good resistance to many plant diseases.

  24. Cascading Habit: Some varieties have a trailing or cascading growth habit, making them ideal for hanging baskets.

  25. Cottage Garden Appeal: Adds a cottage garden charm to landscapes.

  26. Medicinal Uses: In traditional medicine, it has been used for its mild medicinal properties.

  27. Symbolic Meanings: In the language of flowers, Alyssum symbolizes beauty and grace.

  28. Container Spiller: Its cascading form makes it an excellent "spiller" in container arrangements.

  29. Beneficial Ground Cover: Helps suppress weed growth when used as a ground cover.

  30. Deer Resistant: Sweet Alyssum is often resistant to deer browsing, making it a suitable choice for deer-prone areas.


Video 1: Sweet Alyssum filmed at these locations:
  • St. Michael's Church, Aughton, Lancashire: 20th May 2023
  • Ainsdale, Lancashire: 23rd September 2023

Video 2: Sweet Alyssum filmed at Morecambe in Lancashire on the 23rd October 2023.


Please remember to Like and Subscribe to the WildFlowerWeb YouTube channel at

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map