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Hoary alyssum
Photo Credit: Nicole Kimmel, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry

Common Name: Hoary Alyssum

Scientific Name: Berteroa incana

Habitat: roadsides, disturbed areas, grassland, dry grassland

Provincial Designation: Prohibited Noxious

Prohibited Noxious weeds are plant species designated in the Alberta Weed Control Act. Prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed when found, meaning all growing parts need to be killed or the plant's reproductive mechanisms need to be rendered non-viable.

Origin

Hoary Alyssum is native to Eurasia and was most likely introduced to North America in the late 1800s as a seed contaminant.

Legislated Because

It is invasive in open grassland and can become a problem in rangelands. It is toxic to horses.  It is a weed of alfalfa and clover forages, reducing their quality with its nutrient-poor herbage.  It competes with native flora and reproduces continuously.  It may reduce pollinators.

Description

Hoary Alyssum's flowers are arranged in round clusters, are small, white, and have four deeply notched petals.

The leaves are grey-green in colour, covered with star-shaped hairs, and are alternately arranged along the stem. They clasp the stalk without any stem.

The fruits are flat, elliptical and covered in hairs.

The stem can reach 30-90 cm tall and is also covered with star-shaped hairs.

Can Be Confused With

  • Sweet Alyssum - Lobularia maritima - which is an ornamental garden plant and fine for you to grow!   Hoary Alyssum has two lobes on each petal and does not have a noticeable smell. 

Learn more about this species:

SeeFact Sheets - Alberta Invasive Species Council

For More Information

Weed Management

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email invasiveweeds@edmonton.ca

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