Weed Seed: Berteroa incana (Hoary alyssum)
Primary Noxious, Class 2 in the Canadian Weed Seeds Order, 2016 under the Seeds Act.
Canadian: Occurs in AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, NT, ON, QC, SK (Brouillet et al. 2016Footnote 1).
Worldwide: Native to east central Europe and Asia and introduced to North America and other parts of Europe (USDA-ARS 2016Footnote 2).
Duration of life cycle
Annual or short-lived perennial
Seed or fruit type
- Seed diameter: 1.3 - 2.0 mm
- Round or oval seed with a narrow wing (> 0.1 mm) around the margin, flattened
- Seed is roughened with reticulations
- Seed is dark reddish-brown
- Hilum is a notch along the narrow edge filled with white tissue.
- Seed pod is elliptic to ovoid, 5.0 - 8.0 mm long with a persistent style (1.0 - 4.0 mm), and covered in stellate hairs.
Habitat and Crop Association
Cultivated fields, old fields, pastures, hayfields, meadows, grasslands, woodlands, streambanks, roadsides, railways, turf and disturbed areas (FNA 1993+Footnote 3, Darbyshire 2003Footnote 4, Warwick and Francis 2006Footnote 5).
Hoary alyssum thrives on dry, calcareous, disturbed soils of low fertility (Parkinson et al. 2010Footnote 6). It grows in a variety of habitats and is able to compete with native plants (Warwick and Francis 2006Footnote 5).
Seed is dispersed by valves in the seedpod, and falls near the parent plant. Some wind and water dispersal may occur as the seed is light in weight and has a winged margin (Mangold and Jacobs 2010Footnote 7, Parkinson et al. 2010Footnote 6).
Small alyssum (Alyssum alyssoides)
- Small alyssum has a similar oval shape with a marginal wing, strongly flattened, similar hilum notch with tissue, and similar reticulate surface texture as hoary alyssum.
- Small alyssum seeds are oval, a light reddish-brown, and the wing is yellow. Hoary alyssum seeds are usually round, with the seed and wing a dark reddish-brown.
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