Aurinia saxatilis 'Dudley Nevill Variegated'

Common Name: basket of gold 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Brassicaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Apricot
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Grow in dry, average to sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. Avoid heavy clay soils. Rots may develop in moist or poorly-drained soils. Best flowering is in full sun, however plant foliage appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Cut back plants up to 1/2 after flowering to help maintain attractive form. In hot and humid summer climates such as the St. Louis area, this plant is difficult to grow well and can be very short-lived. In the deep South, many gardeners simply grow it in the manner of an annual by planting new plants each fall, enjoying the spring bloom and then removing the plants as the foliage depreciates in summer. New plants are commonly sold in early spring by nurseries. Seed may be planted in the garden in early fall or may be started indoors in late winter from 8-10 weeks before planting outside.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aurinia saxatilis commonly called basket-of-gold is a low-growing, spreading perennial that produces a profuse spring bloom of bright yellow flowers that are particularly attractive in rock gardens, sprawled over rocks or cascaded over rock walls. After bloom, it will remain in the garden as an attractive ground cover unless the foliage depreciates or plants die back from hot summer conditions. It is native from central Europe to Turkey. This is a mat-forming perennial with woody roots that grows to 6-12” tall and features spatulate basal leaves (to 5” long) and smaller linear-oblanceolate stem leaves. Leaves are gray-green. Bright yellow flowers in corymbose panicles bloom in spring.

Additional common names include yellow alyssum, madwort, goldentuft and gold-dust.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Alyssum saxatile.

Genus name comes from the word aureus meaning golden in allusion to the flowers of A. saxatilis (formerly Alyssum saxatile).

Specific epithet means found among rocks.

‘Dudley Nevill Variegated’ is a cultivar that typically grows to 10” tall and spreads to 18” wide. It features panicles of apricot flowers in April and narrow, hairy, gray-green leaves (2-5” long) with irregular creamy white margins.


Watch for aphids. Plants are often short-lived in the St. Louis area.


Rock gardens, beds, border fronts, hillsides, over rocks or atop stone walls. A good ground cover in summer areas where it does not burn out from high heat and humidity.