The Different Types of Alyssum (Photos)

Alyssum is the perfect ground cover for any garden, and there are several different variations that you can select from.

Most variations have tiny blooms and a sweet scent that you will love, but finding a type that fits in with the other flowers in your garden can be challenging.

They are available in colors such as white, pink, red, and violet. The sweet smell of the plants and the bright coloration will bring pollinators to your garden.

I also love the way that alyssum looks in a hanging basket on a porch or patio. Most grow well in zones eight to 11, but the colder temperatures can shorten the plant’s life.

Let’s take a look at some of the types of alyssum.

Royal Carpet Sweet Alyssum


Royal carpet is purple alyssum that blooms in the summertime. The blooms vary in shades of purple, so some of the flowers on each cluster can even look almost white. The plant only grows to be about 2 to 4 inches, but they are very easy to care for. In fact, these plants will be able to manage cool temperatures because they have deeper roots that will survive the cold. It grows best in full to partial sun and moist soil that drains well.

Carpet of Snow Alyssum


Carpet of Snow is another type of alyssum that is relatively small. It can grow to be about 4 inches in height with a spread that reaches up to eight inches. The blooms on this variety are white as snow, and they grow in small clusters. The plant can grow in partial to full shade, but it will thrive if planted in an area with full sunlight. It will also grow best with slightly moist soil.

Snow Crystals


Snow crystals are a drought-tolerant variety of alyssum with a blooming season from late May until the first frost of the year. It has white blooms that are great at attracting butterflies. This variation is slightly larger than some, as it can grow to be up to 8 inches in height with a width of approximately 12 inches. It needs well-drained, loamy soil and partial sun to grow. If you live in a warmer area, the plant will appreciate some afternoon shade.

Easter Bonnet


The Easter bonnet variety of alyssum is another purple variation that can add a bit of color to your garden. It has a very sharp, sweet smell that you will notice right away, and the flowers are great for drawing pollinators to your outdoor space. This plant will grow best in full sun and soil that is slightly moist. Make sure that the soil drains well so that the roots are damp, not wet. It can grow to be up to 10 inches high with a spread of about 12 inches.

Wonderland Copper


This variant of alyssum comes in several colors, including shades of white, red, pink, and purple. The flowers are petite, with a total of four petals on each flower. The plant grows to be about 4 inches in height, with a width of 10 to 12 inches. It creates an excellent ground cover and will look amazing along the edge of a patio or porch. It grows best in partial sun and well-drained soil. The soil’s pH does not affect its growth, but a lower pH can brighten the color of the blooms.

Navy Blue Alyssum

Navy blue alyssum is one of the hardier varieties that you will come across. It can easily survive cold weather and harsh conditions that other plants will succumb to. Typically, the plant will grow to be about 4 inches in height with a fairly widespread of about 10 inches or more. When it comes to soil, this plant can survive in most types with an average amount of water. Full to partial sun is best for the growth of the plant.

Rosie O’Day


The clusters of flowers on a Rosie O’Day are often pink or white. It will grow best with moderately rich soil that is moist. It needs well-draining soil that will keep the roots from sitting in water. Since this plant is not great at tolerating high heat, planting it in a partially shady area will ensure it thrives. With the right care, it will quickly grow to be about 4 inches in height with a width of about 10 inches.

Little Dorrit Sweet Alyssum


The white flowers on this variety of alyssum smell like honey. It has small leaves that are only about an inch in length, and the entire plant will only grow to be about 3 or 4 inches in height. It can have a spread of up to 12-inches, so it can make an excellent ground cover. The blooming season for the plant is from late spring until early fall. It can grow in full sun to partial shade, and well-drained soil like sand is best. With that being said, this plant is also tolerant to the sea, so it can add some beauty to your summer home.

Sweet White Alyssum


Also known as sweet Allison, this is a plant that smells like honey. The white blooms are small with four petals each, and they tend to look like tiny ice crystals on the stem of the plant. The flowers tend to grow in clusters, so the small 6-inch profile makes a great ground cover. It also has a very wide spread, so make sure that you don’t place the plants too close together. Ideally, sweet white alyssum needs partial to full sun, a moderate amount of water, and soil that drains well to grow.

Oriental Nights

Oriental Nights is a plant that blooms from late May until early October. It has soft violet blooms that will grow easily in USDA hardiness zones five and above. The plant will grow to be between 2 and 4 inches in height, and it is likely to have a spread that is at least 6 inches wide. In most cases, the width can grow to be 12 inches after the first year of growth. It will grow in full to partial sunlight, and soil that drains well is optimal, regardless of the pH levels.

Tiny Tim Sweet Alyssum

As you have probably guessed from the name of this variation of alyssum, this is a dwarf that will only grow to be about 3 inches tall at the most. It has delicate white flowers that bloom from May until September, and the blooms have a sweet honey-like smell that is excellent for attracting pollinators. Germinating the plant only takes about a week, and it well-drained soil, partial to full sun, and a moderate amount of water.