E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Alyssum desertorum Stapf
desert alyssum (desert madwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Robert Flogaus-Faust  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #21712)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Alyssum desertorum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Annual herb from a slender taproot; stems erect or ascending with several ascending branches near the base, 10-25 cm tall, the shoots grey-hairy with starlike hairs.
Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves narrowly oblanceolate, entire, 5-25 mm long, grey with starlike down.
Inflorescene elongate; flower stalks spreading, 2-5 mm long; flowers less than 3 mm in diameter; petals light yellow, very narrow, 2-3 mm long; sepals about 2 mm long, soft-hairy and with starlike hairs, deciduous shortly after fruiting.
Silicles, 3-4 mm long, round, shallowly notched, glabrous, strongly flattened near the edges and bulging over seeds, 2 seeds in each chamber; style about 1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry disturbed areas and waste places in the steppe zone; infrequent in SC BC, introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Alyssum desertorum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 781 1012 1130
Slope Gradient (%) 1 54 140
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
180 227 283
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: IDF(5), PP(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References