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Hoary Alyssum (Berteroa incana), fam. Brassicaceae.
A weed, quite abundant in the city and in the forest. Depending on the moment of germination, may be annual (if it manages to bloom within the same year) or biennial (if it has sprouted too late and left a root to wait through winter). White flowers of hoary alyssum are crowded at the top of the stems poorly covered with leaves. At a closer look, some inconsistency of these flowers with other crucifers is easily noticed. Usually, the four-petal flowers of the crucifers indeed form a straight symmetrical "cross". But the hoary alyssum's petals are all split in two, so at first the flower looks like eight-petal. Moreover, the symmetry of petal arrangement is violated, so the contour of the flower as a whole is not square but rather oval or rectangle.
The plant has hypotensive, sedative, astringent and antibacterial properties. Its Russian/Ukrainian name is given from the traditional use against nervous hiccup. The plant concentrates zinc; in itself, it is not too dangerous, but in ecologically unsafe districts hoary alyssum accumulates other heavy metals and chemicals as well, so it should be harvested with caution. Anyway, the overdose of sinigrin (the bitter component of most crucifers) is undesirable due to irritating action on digestion and suppressing the thyroid function.