Wendeline Ducharme

Written by Wendeline Ducharme

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Source: Gardenersworld.com

Sweet Alyssum, also known as Lobularia maritima, is a charming and delicate flowering plant that has captured the hearts of gardeners and plant enthusiasts alike. Its small, scented flowers and lush, trailing foliage make it a popular choice for garden borders, hanging baskets, and container gardens. But there’s more to Sweet Alyssum than meets the eye. In this article, we will uncover 17 captivating facts about this beautiful plant, from its origins and varieties to its unique characteristics and uses. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting your green thumb journey, get ready to be fascinated by the wonders of Sweet Alyssum.

Key Takeaways:

  • Sweet Alyssum, native to the Mediterranean, is a low-growing, colorful plant with a sweet fragrance. It attracts pollinators, is edible, and symbolizes beauty and grace.
  • Sweet Alyssum is an easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant plant that self-seeds and attracts beneficial insects. It’s perfect for gardens, containers, and adding a burst of color and fragrance.
Table of Contents

Sweet Alyssum is native to the Mediterranean region.

With its delicate flowers and sweet fragrance, Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is a charming plant that originated in the Mediterranean region. It is widely cultivated for its beauty and appealing scent.

Sweet Alyssum belongs to the Brassicaceae family.

Sweet Alyssum is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes other well-known plants such as broccoli, cabbage, and mustard. These plants are characterized by their four-petaled flowers and distinctive seed pods.

It is an annual plant.

Sweet Alyssum is an annual plant, which means it completes its lifecycle in one growing season. It typically grows, flowers, produces seeds, and then dies off during the course of a year.

Sweet Alyssum comes in a variety of colors.

Sweet Alyssum blooms in various captivating shades, including white, pink, purple, and lavender. These vibrant colors make it a popular choice for adding a touch of beauty to gardens, borders, and containers.

It is a low-growing plant.

Sweet Alyssum has a compact and spreading growth habit, reaching a height of around 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters). Its low-growing nature makes it ideal for edging pathways or filling in gaps in flowerbeds.

The flowers of Sweet Alyssum attract pollinators.

The tiny flowers of Sweet Alyssum produce nectar, attracting a variety of pollinators such as bees and butterflies. This makes it a beneficial plant for supporting the health and diversity of local ecosystems.

Sweet Alyssum is known for its sweet fragrance.

As the name suggests, Sweet Alyssum releases a pleasant, honey-like fragrance that fills the air. Its intoxicating scent is especially pronounced during the evening hours.

It is commonly used as a ground cover.

The low-growing nature and spreading habit of Sweet Alyssum make it an excellent choice for use as a ground cover. It forms dense mats that help suppress weed growth and enhance the visual appeal of garden beds.

Sweet Alyssum is easy to grow from seed.

Whether sown directly into the garden or started indoors and transplanted, Sweet Alyssum seeds are quick to germinate and establish. It thrives in sunny locations with well-drained soil.

Sweet Alyssum is drought-tolerant.

Once established, Sweet Alyssum displays excellent drought tolerance. It can withstand periods of dryness, making it a resilient choice for gardens in arid or water-restricted environments.

It is a popular choice for attracting beneficial insects.

Sweet Alyssum is known to attract beneficial insects such as hoverflies and parasitic wasps. These insects help control garden pests by preying on them or parasitizing their eggs, contributing to natural pest management.

Sweet Alyssum is used in traditional medicine.

Throughout history, Sweet Alyssum has been valued for its medicinal properties. It has been used in traditional herbal remedies to treat various ailments, including respiratory issues and skin conditions.

It is an edible plant.

The flowers and leaves of Sweet Alyssum are edible and can be added to salads, soups, or used as a garnish. They have a mild, slightly peppery taste that adds a unique touch to culinary creations.

Sweet Alyssum is a great companion plant.

Sweet Alyssum is known to attract beneficial insects and can be used as a companion plant to attract pollinators and natural predators to the garden. It is often planted alongside vegetables and other flowering plants to enhance overall garden health.

It is a popular choice for container gardening.

Due to its compact size and trailing habit, Sweet Alyssum is frequently used in container gardening. It adds a burst of color and a delightful fragrance to pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes.

Sweet Alyssum self-seeds readily.

Once Sweet Alyssum is established in the garden, it has a tendency to self-seed. This means that new plants may appear in unexpected locations, adding to the charm and spontaneity of the garden.

Sweet Alyssum is a symbol of beauty and grace.

Throughout history, Sweet Alyssum has been associated with qualities such as beauty, grace, and delicacy. Its presence in gardens and flower arrangements adds a touch of elegance and charm.


In conclusion, sweet alyssum is a fascinating plant that offers numerous benefits to gardeners and the environment. Its delicate clusters of flowers, sweet fragrance, and ability to attract beneficial insects make it a valuable addition to any garden or landscape. Whether you choose to grow it as a ground cover, in containers, or as a border plant, sweet alyssum is sure to captivate with its beauty and charm. Its low maintenance nature, drought tolerance, and versatility make it a popular choice for both beginner and experienced gardeners.With its rich history, medicinal properties, and ability to enhance biodiversity, sweet alyssum truly is a remarkable plant. So why not consider adding it to your garden? With its vibrant colors, lovely scent, and beneficial attributes, sweet alyssum is sure to bring joy and wonder to your outdoor space for years to come.


1. What is sweet alyssum?

Sweet alyssum, also known as Lobularia maritima, is a small flowering plant native to the Mediterranean region. It belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is characterized by its clusters of delicate, fragrant flowers.

2. How tall does sweet alyssum grow?

Sweet alyssum typically grows to a height of 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) and spreads vigorously, making it an ideal ground cover or border plant.

3. What are the most common varieties of sweet alyssum?

The most common varieties of sweet alyssum include ‘Carpet of Snow,’ ‘Easter Bonnet,’ ‘Royal Carpet,’ and ‘Rosie O’Day.’ Each variety offers its own unique characteristics and colors.

4. How do I care for sweet alyssum?

Sweet alyssum is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It requires regular watering, especially during dry periods, and benefits from occasional deadheading to promote continuous blooming.

5. Can sweet alyssum attract beneficial insects?

Yes, sweet alyssum is known for attracting beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, and hoverflies. These insects play a vital role in pollination and pest control in the garden.

6. Can sweet alyssum be grown in containers?

Absolutely! Sweet alyssum is an excellent choice for container gardening. Its trailing growth habit and compact size make it suitable for hanging baskets, window boxes, and other containers.

7. Is sweet alyssum deer-resistant?

Yes, sweet alyssum is considered deer-resistant. Its strong fragrance and texture make it less attractive to deer and other browsing animals.

8. Can sweet alyssum tolerate drought conditions?

Yes, sweet alyssum is known for its drought tolerance. However, it still requires regular watering to thrive and produce healthy flowers.

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