Aurinia are closely related to the Genus Alyssum
The name Alyssum is derived from the greek a – without, not or against and lyssa meaning rage or madness. Given its common name of madwort or Heal Bite this term might allude to the fact that Alyssum had a reputation for allaying anger or even rabies.
Alyssum is a large genus in the cabbage family with 168 species of annual and perennial herbs or sub-shrubs. They are native to a wide range of habitats from Europe, Asia, Caucasus, Iran, Siberia and North Africa, all of which share a dry or stony environment to which Alyssum is well adapted.
Given good drainage and slightly impoverished conditions most Alyssum are extremely hardy. They are sun lovers and tolerant of any reasonable soil, mostly flowering in spring and early summer.
Alyssum benefits from a trim immediately after flowering to remove dead flowers and keep the plant compact and rejuvenated.
Some species have been reclassified and renamed. Alyssum saxatile being one of these, now known as Aurinia saxatilis.
A diminutive species from arid and stony parts of Turkey. Only 5cm high, the stems produce a compact mound clothed with grey foliage which terminate in spring with clusters of small bright yellow flowers with charming exerted stamens.
Would be ideally suited to a trough or crevice in the wall or rockery.
This firm favouite since 1710 has many forms or clones nowadays. It forms good sized clumps of grey-green leaves with masses of golden yellow flowers in dense clusters.
Common Name: basket of gold
Position: Any reasonably good soil, well drained in full sun.
Use: Rock garden, raised beds, cascading over walls