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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Robert Flogaus-Faust     (Photo ID #21712)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Alyssum desertorum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


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)
1012 781 1130
Slope Gradient (%)
54 1 140

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

227 180 283
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 0 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and Range

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

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia