Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweet Alyssum, Sweet Alison, Seaside Lobularia
Lobularia maritima

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lobularia (lob-yoo-LAR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: maritima (muh-RIT-tim-muh) (Info)

Synonym:Alyssum maritimum
Synonym:Alyssum odoratum
Synonym:Clypeola maritima
Synonym:Koniga maritima

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.


under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)
6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 31 photos.
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18 positives
4 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive OkieGardening On May 24, 2014, OkieGardening from Edmond, OK wrote:

Edmond, OK Zone 7 Sweet alyssum or Lobularia as one of my favorite nurseries has begun labeling it is a constant in my beds. I use it to hide edging, provide a canvas for petunias and fill in anywhere I need a bit of color. Most always use white as it helps other colors, especially purples, "pop" in my beds. Only issue I have is getting it started. If we happen to have a wet cold spring over-watering can happen quite quickly. Consistently moist soil is what it likes best. Also, once it has taken off and begun to bloom over most of the plant, I go ahead and shear back the plants until most of the blossoms are gone. I find this, plus another cutting or two if the plants get leggy, ensures vigorous blooms until frost. Fertilizing with a high-phosphorous fertilizer, organic or not, definitely helps.

Positive JanaDiane On Apr 7, 2014, JanaDiane from Magalia, CA wrote:

I live in zone 8a. My Sweet Alyssum grows and flowers all year long. I've had the same plant for 2 or 3 years. We had a very cold winter where it stayed in the 30s and it didn't faze my alyssum. I am growing it in partial sun. I find the alyssum I buy in 6 packs are nicer than the alyssum I grew from seed. The seeded were scrawny whereas the store bought were bushy.

Positive Dosetaker On Sep 7, 2012, Dosetaker from Mason, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Love using this as a filler in some of my perennial beds. Fills in empty spaces very well with lovely smelling flowers. Easy to grow, very little care needed once it starts to take off.

Positive kitawhit On Dec 5, 2010, kitawhit from Houston, TX wrote:

i have read in several sites that this plant is edible.. But I was wondering if anyone has come across what kind of nutrition it has in it? Or if anyone has eaten it raw? or if it is always cooked. links of would be wonderful. :)

Neutral mjab17 On Jan 25, 2010, mjab17 from North Billerica, MA wrote:

Though its a great plant i was told it was very tolorante, thinking i wouldn't have a problem with it. I planted the seed next thing i knew it was in flower but as soon as the weather warmed up it turned brown and died, to bad, I had it in full sun like this artical said, maybe ill try it in shade to see if it can grow nicer

Positive rebecca101 On Mar 12, 2008, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

A lovely and useful plant. It works well at the front of a bed to replace bulbs or other spring plants that go dormant. It's very easy to start from seed - you can direct sow or sow in flats, then transplant in. In hot weather it gets rangy and messy looking and does not bloom well. But as soon as the weather cools off in late summer it looks wonderful. The plant becomes more compact and blooms profusely. Fragrance is intense and honey-like - almost too sweet. It holds up extremely well in cold weather - probably the last thing blooming in my garden. It blooms about 45-60 days from seed, and here bloomed from June/July (depending on seeding time) into November.

Positive happy_girl On Mar 5, 2008, happy_girl from Redondo Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I've got this growing in a small but long border along with English daisies and it's so pretty. It loves to lay against the rock ledger pillars and spill out onto the sidewalk.

Positive Pashta On Jun 16, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Alyssum made a great container plant and bed plant. The sweet scent is powerful from such a tiny little flower. I kept them moist but not soaked, and they did just fine in full sun. One of my favorite plants.

Positive terracotta On Feb 6, 2006, terracotta from Santa Barbara County, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This humble little plant is a must-have in my garden because of its lovely honey scent and delightful look as as edging or container plant. The white version is much more vigorous (and stronger smelling) than the other colors I've tried. It usually reseeds, but an especially wet winter or spring sometimes prevents that. Here in my cool-summer area, it blooms from spring to late fall. Alyssum benefits from having its spent blossoms sheared back (it springs back quickly with fresh blooms), from receiving a moderate amount of water (not too much), and from having any straggly-looking bits trimmed off every once in a while. Just a tiny bit of care ensures fresh, billowing blossoms for months. The scent is wonderful and really enhances our time in the garden.

Positive BUFFY690 On May 11, 2005, BUFFY690 from Prosperity, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I added this in all my flowerbeds in 2005 it has made weeding quite a pleasurable thing, with its great fragrance it is sure to be added from now on. It is also in most of the pots to add a small airy touch of white.

Neutral soilsandup On May 3, 2005, soilsandup from Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

When I first read kaperc's post, my initial reaction was that I agree totally with the comment about the smell. Then it dawned on me that kaperc and I were thinking about a completely different plant from what this thread is referring to. My neighbor planted some alyssum and it has spread over into my year. I don't care for the smell of it either. Lobularia maritima - with the commom name of Sweet Alyssum, it is easy to get confused. I have never seen or smelled Lobularia maritima but from the comments here, it must have a very different fragrance from the regular alyssum. I will also add my warning about fragrances - I have purchased plants from catalogs that touts the sweet fragance of a plant and then find out that the smell is actually quite awful.

Positive DawnRain On May 2, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

I grow this plant for the scent more than for any other reason. It is sweet, like honey and heavenly. As I weed and do chores, I often have a sprig of it to sniff. The little blooms are very pretty too, but, ah, love that smell!

Neutral ladyannne On May 1, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Scent is one of favorite elements in our gardens, sweet jasmine, lilac, clevelandii and allysum. We treasure the wave of this honey scent and have it in almost every section of the yard. It doesn't do well in one the driest areas, I am constantly replanting there with new plants or starys that pop up from other areas. It does transplant fairly well.

Negative KaperC On Oct 15, 2004, KaperC from No. San Diego Co., CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

Go me, this plant has the most horrible smell in the world and gives me intense headaches. It's planted profusely here by developers as sidewalk landscaping (and they spray it on slopes for erosion control), so much so that I was forced into the street for walks when I lived in a dense area.

I've met not a few others who have the same reaction, so if you haven't smelled it first, I would be careful about planting it where you spend a lot of time!

Positive PurplePansies On Oct 13, 2004, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Sweet alyssum is not the showiest plant in the world (pretty airy flowers though.....) and the flowers are small born sort of sparsely on the plant....... the plant is also low growing so you need to put it in a pot or onthe border or in a rock garden or on slope/hill to appreciate it...... but it IS worth growing for SMELL ALONE..... or FRAGRANCE that is....... the SMELL IS DIVINE...... like FRESH WARMED HONEY...... exactly orange blossom oro wildflower honey or something...... blooms best in cool weather...... plant it in a pot where you can enjoy its fragrance (by bending down) or put it near a door (or window......) :) ....... I have mine planted in strawberry containers spilling out of the side....... it is also useful for a spilling effect but is grown primarily for fragrance...... The white is most fragrant but all varieties are fragrant....... Easy and reseeds...... :)

Neutral curlingchica On Aug 18, 2004, curlingchica from Edmonton
Canada wrote:

I started this plant from seed this year and it has pretty much taken over my garden. I have had to cut it back because it is crowding out my pansies. I have also found that it has already self seeded itself and new plants are coming up, all in the same season! The plant does have a nice smell though and attracts all kinds of bees and butterflys.

I think that I am going to let it grow again next year, but keep ontop of cutting it back so it does not get to the state it is in this year. I also had success with the purple variety, but the white is definitely the more successful of the two.

I bought some of the rose pink variety as bedding plants and they did very poorly. They either died or just refused to grow and look the same way they did when I put them in the ground, except for one which has some new growth. I think that you are way better off starting this directly from seed, as the ones I started were the most successful in my garden.

Positive mlayala On May 30, 2004, mlayala from Oceanside, CA wrote:

this plant thrives in San Diego, I planted it from flats and it has spread to fill in around my stone walkway. It is invasive, I've found it popping up all over my yard in places I didn't plant it, but love it so much I don't mind. I hope it spreads to fill in between all my plants. I've noticed it grows in both sun and part shade, but only blooms and gets really fluffy if it gets a lot of sun.

Positive berrygirl On Aug 30, 2003, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I grew these at the edge of the rocks and loved the way they spilled over, but stayed very full-looking.

I read they're a cool-season annual, but mine are thriving in our Georgia summer. Beautiful fill-ins in front of larger plants.

Positive Ladyfern On Aug 7, 2003, Ladyfern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

A wonderful little annual that I help self-seed all over my garden! It just fills in all those little empty spots between plants. The white variety is what thrives for me--can't get the pink or purple ones to do much.

Positive PaulRobinson On May 18, 2003, PaulRobinson from Torrance, CA wrote:

I agree wuth all the above, except that I have no need to plant it annually - it reseeds itself and grows luxuriantly here in my Los Angeles home.

But I sat watching a pocket gopher come out of his hole repeatedly, to pluck a few flowers and take them into his hole. Not certain if for lunch or as a "room deoderant". That may be a negative for some, but I found it fun. (The gopher did no harm to any part of my lawn or garden.)

Positive Chamma On Mar 28, 2003, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I plant this every winter. The smell is heavenly! To me, it smells alot like honey. It attracts honey bees and butterflies. It makes an excellent groundcover!

Positive lisaclovis On Aug 24, 2002, lisaclovis wrote:

I plant it one year and get twice as many plants the following year, just from volunteers. Love the smell.

Positive JamesN71 On Jul 4, 2002, JamesN71 wrote:

An excellent plant for rock gardens....plant a lot and you can smell it 30ft favorite.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
El Mirage, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Tempe, Arizona
Canoga Park, California
El Sobrante, California
Elk Grove, California
Eureka, California
Fair Oaks, California
Fresno, California
Laguna Beach, California
Magalia, California
Martinez, California
Merced, California
Murrieta, California
Oceanside, California
Ontario, California
Redondo Beach, California
San Leandro, California
Simi Valley, California
West Covina, California
Aurora, Colorado
Parker, Colorado
Seaford, Delaware
Bradley, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Sebastian, Florida
Sorrento, Florida
Braselton, Georgia
Ellijay, Georgia
Aurora, Illinois
Jacksonville, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Rolla, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Bridgewater, Massachusetts
North Billerica, Massachusetts
Mathiston, Mississippi
Greenville, New Hampshire
Burlington, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
Brevard, North Carolina
Akron, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Edmond, Oklahoma
Ashland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
Columbia, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Crossville, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas
Katy, Texas
Plano, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Staunton, Virginia
Clarkston, Washington
Freeland, Washington
Shelton, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin
Manitowoc, Wisconsin

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