Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Alyssum alyssoides
small alyssum, pale madwort

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Meadows, forest openings, sagebrush flats, roadsides, fields, and disturbed open areas at low to middle elevations.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Introduced from Eurasia

Growth Duration: Annual, Biennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies, butterflies


Grayish, appressed-stellate biennial, the stem simple to freely-branched, 1-3 dm. tall.


Leaves alternate, entire, narrowly lanceolate, 5-25 mm. long.


Inflorescence of elongate, bractless racemes; sepals 4, 2 mm. long, persistent, with stellate and soft hairs on the back; petals 4, creamy white, very narrow, 3-4 mm. long; pedicels spreading, equaling the fruit; stamens 6, the 2 shorter ones flanked by linear glands 1 mm. long; style 0.5 mm. long.


Silicles stellate, ovate-oval, strongly compressed, 3-4 mm. long, slightly notched at the tip, flattened around the margins but bulged in the center over the 2 seeds per cell.

Accepted Name:
Alyssum alyssoides (L.) L.
Publication: Syst. Nat. ed. 10. 2: 1130. 1759.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Alyssum alyssoides in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Alyssum alyssoides checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Alyssum alyssoides information.

E-Flora BC: Alyssum alyssoides atlas page.

CalPhotos: Alyssum alyssoides photos.

USDA Plants: Alyssum alyssoides information.

27 photographs:
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