SPECIES DESCRIPTION
ALYSSUM UMBELLATUM

Family and Genus:- See- CRUCIFERAE/Sect. ALYSSUM

Common Name:- None

Homotypic Synonyms:- None

Meaning:- Alyssum (Gr) Pacifier, ancient Greek name meaning  without-fury -
alluding to the supposed medicinal properties against rabies.
                  Umbellatum (L) Umbelled.

General description:- Grey annual

Stems:-
1) 5-10(-15) cm. usually slender and ascending.

Leaves:-
1) Well spaced, but sometimes crowded below the raceme, narrowly oblanceolate,
    greyish green, with 6-8 rayed stellate hairs.

Flowers:-
1) Inflorescence, a simple, umbellate raceme, not or scarcely elongating in fruit.
2) Sepals, 2-22 mm, caducous.
3) Petals, 2-3 mm, truncate to slightly emarginate, pale yellow,
4) Pedicels 3-5 mm, erecto-patent.
5) Style, 1-1.5 mm.

Fruit:-
1) Siliculae 3-55.5 mm, ovate to broadly elliptical, obtuse; valves moderately
    inflated, without well defined flat margins, covered by 8-12-rayed, appressed
    stellate hairs.
2) Seeds, 17-21 mm, narrowly winged.

Key features:-
1) Annual.
2) Style, 08-15(-2) mm.
3) Raceme, subumbellate in fruit.
4) Silicula, ovate, the valves inflated.

Click here for a glossary of terms used.

Habitat:- Open cultivated ground, sandy or gravelly seashores, riverbeds, pastures,
dry open shrubby vegetation  and openings in coniferous forest, on various
substrates. 0-700(-1200) m.

Distribution:- NE mainland Greece. - SE Balkan Peninsula, W Anatolia, Crimea,
Cyprus and W Syria. Very rare on Crete currently known from one area in the Dikti
mountains.

Flowering time:- Mar-Apr(-May).

Photos by:- Charalambos Chiotelis