Sweet Alyssum Flowers and Their Symbolic Meanings

A constant companion of gardeners worldwide, alyssum is a cheerful specimen offering a wide variety of colors to the home botanist or florist. Here we’ll take you through everything you need to know about Alyssum’s meaning and symbolism in the language of flowers.

Ultimate Guide to Alyssum Flowers

Alyssum Flower Symbolism – Key Takeaways

Alyssum means “worth beyond beauty” or “sweetness of soul” in the Victorian language of flowers. It is also a plant with a role to play in witchcraft. Dedicated practitioners claim Alyssum will help deflect unfriendly spells. Alyssum can also help the wearer cultivate calmness and avoid anger.

Etymological Meaning

Alyssum’s modern genus name is Lobularia. It is Greek for “small pod.” While most people don’t notice, this is what the fruits look like before alyssum goes to seed.

The most common alyssum species in the garden, maritima, is named for its preference for sea air.

Alyssum Flower Meaning & Symbolism

Yellow blooming Alyssum Flowers

Alyssum is a very versatile plant. It not only carries multiple symbolic meanings, but it also comes in a huge range of colors.

Traditionally, the flower was referred to as “sweet alyssum,” which tells you all you need to know. Its meaning is sweetness and calm energies in the language of flowers.


The Cultural Significance of Alyssum Flowers

Alyssum’s reputation as a flower of gentility and restraint most likely stemmed first from the ancients. It then made its way to the Victorians and even into modern Wicca.

Victorian Love Message

The Victorians did not invent the idea that flowers carried meanings. However, they did codify it for the first time in “floriography.” The “language of flowers” is a distinctly Victorian endeavor to place each blossom in the ranks, complete with meaning and symbolism.

The idea was that if each flower had a meaning, people could use them to express themselves. They might not otherwise be able to, but this language would enable it. It was frequently used between lovers.

Alyssum found its role in the floriography pantheon among the sweet. It took on the epithets “worth beyond beauty” and “sweetness of soul.” These dainty phrases worked perfectly for lovers but also children.

Alyssum Flowers in Witch Lore

Violet Alyssum Flowers in bloom

Witchery is never complete without plenty of plant lore. Alyssum finds itself in good company in home witchcraft.

Alyssum is sympathetic to the element of air. This is perfectly in tune with its light and breathy qualities. It is also associated with Mercury, which adherents of astrology know is associated with self-expression and relationships.

Its calmness also helps to deflect spells of ill intent. Wear alyssum to keep people from misleading you. You can also place it in a pocket to stay calm and cultivate serene energies.

Some people say sweet Alyssum works well in fairy gardens and moon gardens. The latter is a botanical endeavor to highlight flowers and other plants that come alive under moonlight.

Modern Egyptian Garden Novelty

While Alyssum is usually seen as a shy and retiring flower, it plays starring roles as well. When Khedive Ismail of Egypt wanted to impress notable visitors in the 1800s, he built a palatial garden and filled it with many flowers. Alyssum was among its ranks.


Suitable Gifting Occasions

Alyssum Flowers potted in a florists shop

The charming and dainty epithets with which Alyssum is wreathed make it appropriate for many occasions. These include:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Proposals
  • Engagements
  • Weddings
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Graduations
  • Parties

“Sweetness of soul” and “worth beyond beauty” are both appropriate sentiments for condolence in the loss of a loved one. Alyssum in white is an excellent addition to a bouquet on these occasions.

Editorial Director | andrew@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.

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