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1. Any of various chiefly Mediterranean weeds or ornamentals of the genus Alyssum in the mustard family, having racemes of white or yellow flowers. Also called madwort.
2. Any of various similar plants in the mustard family, especially sweet alyssum.

[New Latin Alyssum, genus name, from Latin alysson, kind of madder, from Greek alusson, a plant believed to cure rabies : a-, not; see a-1 + lussa, rabies; see wl̥kwo- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Plants) any widely cultivated herbaceous garden plant of the genus Alyssum, having clusters of small yellow or white flowers: family Brassicaceae (crucifers). See also sweet alyssum, alison
[C16: from New Latin, from Greek alusson, from alussos (adj) curing rabies, referring to the ancient belief in the plant's healing properties]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(əˈlɪs əm)

1. any of various plants of the mustard family, having gray leaves and clusters of small yellow or white flowers.
[1545–55; < New Latin; Latin alysson < Greek, neuter of ályssos curing (canine) madness, derivative of a- a-6lýssa madness]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.alyssum - any garden plant of the genus Alyssum having clusters of small yellow or white flowersalyssum - any garden plant of the genus Alyssum having clusters of small yellow or white flowers
crucifer, cruciferous plant - any of various plants of the family Cruciferae
genus Alyssum, Alyssum - a genus of the family Cruciferae
2.Alyssum - a genus of the family Cruciferae
dilleniid dicot genus - genus of more or less advanced dicotyledonous trees and shrubs and herbs
Brassicaceae, Cruciferae, family Brassicaceae, family Cruciferae, mustard family - a large family of plants with four-petaled flowers; includes mustards, cabbages, broccoli, turnips, cresses, and their many relatives
alyssum, madwort - any garden plant of the genus Alyssum having clusters of small yellow or white flowers
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
October though it was, the garden was still very sweet with dear, old-fashioned, unworldly flowers and shrubs -- sweet may, southern-wood, lemon verbena, alyssum, petunias, marigolds and chrysanthemums.
Meanwhile, a group of closely-related, mat-forming flowers remain under the alyssum heading.
The Schlegels allow white sweet alyssum, blue catmint (Nepeta faassenii), and Santa Barbara daisy to ramble freely under the roses and spill onto the gravel that covers the soil between the beds.
* Prune back spring flowering rock plants such as aubrietia, alyssum and pinks.
SOW seeds of flowers, including sweet peas, Bells of Ireland, nemesia, tobacco plant, African and French marigolds and alyssum.
Sweet alyssum, catmint, and Santa Barbara daisy ramble beneath the roses.
Take cuttings of herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme and cotton lavender, and soft evergreens such as candytuft, rue and the golden-flowered Alyssum saxatile.
Pots and tubs collection: Lobelia, marigold, cineraria, godetia, petunia and alyssum. C.
* For a cottage garden look, try blue annual salvia, 'Sonata Mix' cosmos, a few golden 'Sunray' coreopsis, 'Blue Moon' lobelia, 'Blue Blazer' ageratum, and 'Easter Bonnet' alyssum.
Trim back the rockery plants aubrieta, yellow alyssum and arabis when they have finished flowering.
They combine well with white alyssum, blue lobelia, and dark green English ivy.
Luckily for gardeners, these include many favorite border flowers such as cosmos, sweet alyssum, and yarrow.