Yellow Alyssum, Alyssum alyssoides

Yellow Alyssum, Alyssum alyssoides

img_9868Also known as pale madwort, (madwort is the common name for all alyssum)

Desert Alyssum is a reseeding annual native to Eurasia, introduced into North America. As with other plants, the word wort means medicine, and mad-wort essentially meant, “medicine to treat madness.”


Primary use: Eating the raw leaves.


All parts are edible raw or cooked. Yellow alyssum has a rather mild flavor for a brassica. Like all brassicas, the leaves, seeds, and flowers are edible.


The word “alyssum” comes from the Greek words “a-” (meaning without) and “lyssa” which means “madness.” The tradition is that it was used to treat rabies, which causes madness. Hence the name madwort, meaning “mad-medicine.” [1]See https://thenatureniche.com/2014/05/23/desert-madwort/


Yellow alyssum is eaten by western harvester ants, rabbits, pronghorn antelope, and sage-grouse.


Though there is no major health risk around yellow alyssum, the dried pods can be notoriously annoying when they stick to shoes and socks.

More photos of Alyssum alyssoides

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