Snow Princess alyssum

Sorry, but I’ve never been a fan of sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima). Sure, it smells great. But it always seemed to be an unfulfilled promise — lopsided and leggy. The trailing annual looked fantastic for only for a brief moment, then fell apart. It seeded out in cracks in the pavement and produced scrawny seedlings at best.

But that has all changed with a new hybrid, Snow Princess. Two dainty little darlings have been putting on a consistent, nonstop show beneath a Satsuma tangerine on my back patio since last May. They even withstood what has been — for us, at least — a series of torrential, punishing rains.

Why has Snow Princess performed so well? The folks at Proven Winners, which is the company that is introducing Snow Princess for 2010, explains that it’s sterile. So unlike ordinary alyssum that has an internal clock tick-ticking away, marking the seconds until it must produce prodigious seeds to ensure future generations, Snow Princess just keeps blooming.

My two plants are now going on 11 months, and as annuals, they will inevitably collapse. I don’t know yet when. But until then, what a fabulous, frothy splash of sparkling white!

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