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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 7 | Brassicaceae | Lobularia

1. Lobularia maritima (Linnaeus) Desvaux, J. Bot. Agric. 3: 162. 1815.

Sweet-alyssum Sweet-alyssum

Clypeola maritima Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 652. 1753; Alyssum maritimum (Linnaeus) Lamarck; Koniga maritima (Linnaeus) R. Brown

Plants suffruticose (when subshrubs). Stems 0.5-2.5(-4) dm. Leaves: blade linear or lanceolate-oblanceolate, (1-)1.6 -2.5(-4.2) cm × (1-)2-3(-7) mm, base attenuate, apex acute. Racemes elongated in fruit, (1-)4-8(-16) cm, (dense). Fruiting pedicels (3-)4.5-6(-9.5) mm. Flowers: sepals often tinged purplish, (1.4-)1.5-1.7 (-2.4) mm; petals broadly obovate, (1.9-)2.3-2.8(-3.1) × (1.2-)1.6-2(-2.6) mm, abruptly contracted into claw; filaments 1.2-2 mm; anthers 0.3-0.5 mm. Fruits (1.9-) 2.3-2.7(-4.2) × (1.2-)1.6-2(-2.9) mm; valve margins thin, sparsely pubescent; style 0.4-0.6 mm. Seeds light to reddish brown, not winged, (1-)1.2-1.4(-2) × (0.7-) 1-1.1(-1.6) mm. 2n = 24.

Flowering year-round (peak spring-summer). Roadsides, waste places, vacant lots, cultivated fields, walls, coastal fir zone, mainly along Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, also ephemeral inland; 0-800 m; introduced; B.C., N.S., Ont., Que.; Ariz., Calif., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Miss., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tex., Utah, Vt., Wash.; Europe; Asia; Africa; introduced also in Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Pacific Islands, Australia.

Lobularia maritima is widely cultivated as an ornamental; many cultivars are on the market. It was introduced to North America because of its drought tolerance and attractive, scented white flowers (R. Ornduff 1974). It has been reported as cultivated in the northern United States back to 1856 (A. Gray 1856). The cultivars naturalize very easily and have been known as locally established garden escapes in North America back to the end of the nineteenth century (N. L. Britton and A. Brown 1896-1898, vol. 2).


 

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