Definition of alyssum in US English:



  • A herbaceous Eurasian plant that bears small flowers in a range of colors, typically white or yellow. Several kinds are widely cultivated in gardens.

    Genera Alyssum and Lobularia, family Brassicaceae: many species, including sweet alyssum (L. maritima), with fragrant white flowers

    • ‘Reserve some space for colorful annuals like zinnia, marigold, calendula, alyssum, and cosmos.’
    • ‘The pond is fringed with sweet alyssum, Vinca minor, and woolly thyme.’
    • ‘White and purple alyssum, with its honey scent, is a great butterfly flower, and blue lobelia is popular with bees.’
    • ‘The most commonly planted rockery flowers are aubretia and alyssum.’
    • ‘We planted blue and white alyssums around her alder trees, and pink begonias around her house and gate.’


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).