Definition of alyssum in English:


Pronunciation /ˈalɪs(ə)m//əˈlɪs(ə)m/


  • 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).