Berteroa incana (Hoary Alyssum)
|Also known as:||Hoary False Madwort|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; dry fields, along roads, disturbed soil|
|Bloom season:||April - October|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Rounded cluster 1 to 2 inches across at the end of branching stems near the top of the plant. Individual flowers are ¼-inch across and have 4 white petals that are deeply notched to look like 8. There are 6 thick yellowish green stamens in the center. The branching stems elongate as the plant matures, with fruit forming below and flowers just opened at the tip of the stem.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are 1½ to 3 inches long, up to ½ inch wide, toothless, have a pointed or blunt tip and no stalk. They are covered in fine hairs that give them a grayish green color. Attachment is alternate. Young plants also have a basal rosette of leaves that typically wither away by flowering time. Stems are densely hairy, single or multiple from the base, usually branching.
Hoary Alyssum was once on the secondary noxious weed list for Minnesota. It is a weedy plant often found in empty lots, on roadsides, degraded fields, railroad rights-of-way, and other sunny locations with dry disturbed soil.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Hoary Alyssum plants, single stems
- Hoary Alyssum plants, multiple stems from the base
- more plants
- early basal rosette
- a field full of Hoary Alyssum with Hairy Vetch
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?