Of the eighty or ninety species in this genus the best known is A. maritimum or Koeniga maritima, the Sweet Alyssum of Britain. It forms dense masses of narrow leaves and small white sweet-scented blossoms during the summer months, and is extensively used as a carpeting plant beneath taller subjects. It is largely grown for market, and is sold in pots or shallow boxes, the greatest trade being done during May and June - the usual bedding-out season. Being an annual, it must be raised from seeds sown in February or March, in a temperature of 60°-70° F., afterwards pricking out or potting up for sale. Other species grown in nurseries are A. montanum, 2-4 in. high, with grey-green hairy leaves and yellow flowers; A. podolicum, 2 in., white; A. pyrenaicum, 3 in., white; and A. saxatile, 4-6 in., yellow, with its lemon-yellow variety citrinum; A. plenum is a double form, sulphureum has pale-sulphur flowers, and "Tom Thumb" has silvery tufts, 2-3 in. high, with rich-yellow flowers. These all flourish in good gritty soil, and are easily increased by seeds or division.

Alstroemeria aurantiaca.

Fig. 181. - Alstroemeria aurantiaca.