categoryZEvergreen Evergreen List 

GOLDEN ALISON

Aurinia saxatilis

(Formerly: Alyssum saxatile)
Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

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category
category8Evergreen
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8yellow
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8round

3rd May 2013, garden wall, Caldon Canal, Staffs. Photo: © RWD
A garden escapee, likes to grow on walls. Grows to 45cm.


3rd May 2013, garden wall, Caldon Canal, Staffs. Photo: © RWD
Has bright-yellow 4-petalled flowers, unfortunately, none open here.


3rd May 2013, garden wall, Caldon Canal, Staffs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in a cluster, mainly at the summit, but with a few side-branches near the summit. Stems are leafless when the flowers open, so presumably these stem leaves will drop off when the flowers open. It flowers from April to June, but flowering season can extend into October.


3rd May 2013, garden wall, Caldon Canal, Staffs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves in a basal rosette, spoon-shaped (oblanceolate), lacking teeth (entire) and are densely hairy (greyish-green).


There are three plants with the common name including 'Alison', all belonging to the Cabbage Family (Brassicaceae) but with each in differing genera :

  • Golden Alison (Aurinia saxatilis) the plant on this page .
  • Sweet Alison (Lobularia maritima) with white flowers
  • Hoary Alison (Berteroa incana) very hairy with short white hairs and white flowers.

Some similarities to : the rather rare Yellow Whitlowgrass (Draba aizoides) but that is much shorter at only 15cm and has short lanceolate leaves arranged in a cushion around the single branchless flowering stem.

Slight resemblance to : other yellow-flowered plants with a compact cluster of 4-petalled flowers at the summit such as Tall Rocket (Sisymbrium altissimum), London Rocket (Sisymbrium irio), Treacle Mustard (Erysium cheiranthoides), Winter-cress (Barbarea vulgaris) but these all produce seed pods and have wildly different leaves.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

It is an evergreen perennial, popularly grown in gardens, and often escaping onto walls and dry banks. It seeds abundantly. When open, the flowers have 4 bright-yellow petals with a central rounded notch (retuse). It is densely hairy with stellate, branched and un-branched hairs. Being a garden plant, several cultivars are also bred, which may be cream-coloured, pale yellow, lemon, tan and white


  Aurinia saxatilis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Aurinia
Aurinia
(Golden Alison)

GOLDEN ALISON

Aurinia saxatilis

(Formerly: Alyssum saxatile)
Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]