Hoary alyssum – Berteroa incana

Hoary alyssum

Berteroa incana (L.) DC.
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Life cycle

Annual, biennial or short-lived perennial.


Seedling leaves initially develop from a basal rosette. Basal leaves are hairy, oblong and up to 3 inches long with smooth to slightly wavy margins and long stalks. Stem leaves are similar but smaller and alternate and gradually become stalkless. Leaves are covered with gray, star-shaped hairs that result in a grayish green appearance.


Erect, stiff, up to 4 feet tall. Stems bolt from a basal rosette to flower. Up to 10 stems may form per taproot with many branches near the top. Stems are covered with gray, star-shaped hairs that result in a grayish green appearance.

Flowers and fruit

Numerous white flowers with four petals so deeply divided that they resemble eight petals, are found in elongated clusters. Fruit are hairy, oval and slightly flattened, grayish green seed pods with a short beak on the end. Seed pods are usually held close to the stems and yield oblong, rough and narrowly winged,
grayish to reddish brown seeds.


Seeds and root crowns.

Hoary alyssum plant
Hoary alyssum flower
Hoary alyssum seed pod
Hairs on leaf surface
Hoary alyssum seedling

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