A closeup of yellow alyssum.
alyssum definition by Webster's New World
- any of a genus (Alyssum) of crucifers with white or yellow flowers and grayish leaves
- sweet alyssum
Origin: Modern Latin ; from Classical Greek alysson, madwort ; from alyssos, curing madness ; from a-, without plush lyssa, madness, rage; uncertain or unknown; perhaps origin, originally , with shining eyes (see light): compare lynx
alyssum definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- See sweet alyssum.
- 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.
- See hoary alyssum.
Origin: 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.