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

Alyssum alyssoides (L.) L.
pale alyssum (pale madwort)
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #12105)

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Distribution of Alyssum alyssoides
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Species Information

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Annual or biennial herb from a slender taproot; stems erect or ascending with several ascending branches near the base, 10-25 (40) 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 about 3 mm in diameter; petals cream or white, linear, 3-4 mm long; sepals about 2 mm long, soft-hairy and with starlike hairs, persistent in fruit.
Silicles, 3-4 mm long, almost circular (oval), starlike hairy, strongly flattened near the edges but bulging in the middle, 2 seeds in each chamber; styles up to 0.5 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry roadsides and waste places in the steppe and montane zones; frequent in SC and SE BC, rare on S. Vancouver Island; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Alyssum alyssoides

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) 579 875 1480
Slope Gradient (%) 4 38 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
89 205 330
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
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: BG(2), ICH(2), IDF(16), MS(1), PP(17)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Alyssum calycinum L.
Clypeola alyssoides L.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References