alyssum

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alyssum

(əlĭs`əm), any species of the genus Alyssum of the family Cruciferae (mustardmustard,
common name for the Cruciferae, a large family chiefly of herbs of north temperate regions. The easily distinguished flowers of the Cruciferae have four petals arranged diagonally ("cruciform") and alternating with the four sepals.
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 family), annual and perennial herbs native to the Mediterranean area. A few species, notably the perennial golden tuft (A. saxatile), are cultivated as rock-garden or border ornamentals for their masses of yellow or white flowers. The annual sweet alyssum (called A. maritima but separated by most botanists as Lobularia maritima) is a similar plant with fragrant white or lilac blossoms. The alyssums have been called madwort or heal-bite because of an old belief that they cured rabies. Alyssum is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Capparales, family Cruciferae.

Alyssum

 

a genus of plants of the family Cruciferae. Annual or perennial herbs, less frequently semishrubs, usually with entire leaves. The plants are often silvery because of their dense covering of stellate hairs. Small yellow or yellowish white blossoms are gathered into corymbiform or penicillate inflorescences. The fruit is a silicula. There are approximately 150 species of Alyssum, chiefly Mediterranean. Of these, 40 exist in the USSR. Many species are cultivated as ornamental plants.

alyssum

any widely cultivated herbaceous garden plant of the genus Alyssum, having clusters of small yellow or white flowers: family Brassicaceae (crucifers)