Apr. 30, 2019

hoary alyssum, Berteroa incana

I posted this flower at 7:30, thinking I could ID it right away. I found it this weekend in sandy open ground north of Adrian. Now I've spent the last half hour muttering and puzzling. It's a very early mustard. It has white flowers! The leaves have no lobes. And most important, no fruit have developed. Fruit are critical to mustard identification. So this morning, we get wild and crazy and post an image without an ID. It's now 11:32, my early appointment is over, and I've figured it out. Hoary alyssum blooms early and long. The stems elongate as they blossom, lasting into summer. Younger plants bloom later, with stragglers into autumn. Where this one has a crown of small leaves or sepals, most would have more obvious flower buds. This Eurasian is now in open, mostly sandy areas in every state except FL, GA, HI, LA, MS, NC, SC, and TX, and in AB, BC, MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 4/28/19.