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By Witchipedia, Herbs

Alyssum: Folklore, Healing & Magical Attributes

Updated on:


Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)


Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is an annual native to the Mediterranean area which is popular with modern gardeners.

The plant is low growing, about 20 cm tall, with dense clusters of tiny flowers in white, lavender or pink and a sweet scent.

Other Names Sweet alyssum, Sweet Alison, madwort, healbite, sweet Alice, seaside lobularia, gum alison and Mary’s cushion.

Sweet AlyssumAlso known as Lobularia maritima, it is a low-growing annual with clusters of tiny, fragrant flowers.
Basket-of-GoldAlso known as Aurinia saxatilis, it is a perennial with bright yellow flowers and gray-green foliage.
Carpet of SnowA popular variety with abundant white flowers, often used as a ground cover in garden beds and borders.
Easter BonnetA compact variety with delicate pink, purple, or white flowers, suitable for containers or small gardens.
Table 1: Alyssum Varieties

Alyssum has a rich history and folklore, with mentions dating back to ancient times, where it was associated with love and protection.

This resilient plant can be easily propagated through both seeds and cuttings, making it a favorite choice for gardeners.

Alyssum is renowned for its magical attributes, believed to bring luck, happiness, and ward off negative energy when placed in the home or garden.

With its healing attributes, Alyssum is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been traditionally used to alleviate respiratory issues and skin conditions.

History and Folklore

Sweet alyssum used to be categorized in the Alyssum genus. This is why it retains the name alyssum. It is a member of the family Brassicaceae, the mustard family.

Once upon a time, alyssum was used as a treatment for the bites of rabid animals. The name alyssum comes from the Greek meaning “without madness”.

In the language of flowers, sweet alyssum means “worth beyond beauty”.


Alyssum is a pretty little annual flower that grows well from seed and works wonderfully in rock gardens, makes a great ground cover and makes a pretty edge to the flower bed. It likes soil with good drainage and tolerates poor soil and dry soil conditions well. Sow seeds about 8 inches apart in a sunny spot as soon as the danger of frost has passed.

Cover lightly with soil and water them in. Alyssum blooms around midsummer and continues to bloom all summer. If it stops blooming, give it a trim to encourage move flowers. It may reseed and come back next year if you let it be.

Consider planting sweet alyssum around any plants that have trouble with aphids. The sweet scent attracts hoverflies and ladybugs which love to eat aphids.

Magical Attributes

Sweet alyssum resonates with the air element and the planet Mercury and is said to be protective against glamour spells and hexes.

Plant it around the house to deflect spells intended to mislead you. The sweet scent evokes peaceful energy and spiritual and emotional balance. Wear a sprig on your lapel or carry one in your pocket to prevent and calm angry encounters.

Magical AttributeDescription
ProtectionAlyssum is believed to have protective properties and can be used in protective spells or rituals.
Love and HappinessThe sweet fragrance of Alyssum flowers is associated with love and happiness, making it ideal for love spells or rituals for joy.
Dream WorkAlyssum is sometimes used in dream work and is believed to enhance dreams and aid in dream recall.
Spiritual ConnectionSome practitioners use Alyssum to enhance their spiritual connection and attune to higher energies.
Table 2: Magical Attributes of Alyssum

Sweet alyssum is a wonderful addition to both moon gardens and faerie gardens.

Sweet alyssum is associated with the virgin Mary.

Healing Attributes

Although alyssum was once used for animal bites and rabies, it has no particular medical use today.

Healing PropertyDescription
CalmingAlyssum is known for its calming properties and is often used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation.
Respiratory SupportIn traditional herbal medicine, Alyssum has been used to support respiratory health and ease congestion.
Skin SoothingAlyssum extracts are used in skincare products for their soothing and moisturizing effects on the skin.
Digestive AidSome herbalists suggest that Alyssum can aid digestion and alleviate mild digestive discomfort.
Table 3: Healing Properties of Alyssum


Alyssum can cause dermatitis in sensitive people.

Culinary Use

Alyssum is a member of the mustard family with a characteristic mustardy taste. It isn’t often used as a food, but it is edible.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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