One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A herbaceous Eurasian plant which typically bears small white or yellow flowers. Some kinds are cultivated in gardens.
Genera Alyssum and Lobularia, family Cruciferae: many species
- ‘The most commonly planted rockery flowers are aubretia and alyssum.’
- ‘The pond is fringed with sweet alyssum, Vinca minor, and woolly thyme.’
- ‘Reserve some space for colorful annuals like zinnia, marigold, calendula, alyssum, and cosmos.’
- ‘We planted blue and white alyssums around her alder trees, and pink begonias around her house and gate.’
- ‘White and purple alyssum, with its honey scent, is a great butterfly flower, and blue lobelia is popular with bees.’
Mid 16th century (used loosely to denote various medicinal herbs): modern Latin, from Latin alysson, from Greek alusson, from a- ‘without’ + lussa ‘rabies’ (referring to early herbalist use).
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