fbpx Basket-of-Gold | The Morton Arboretum


Basket-of-gole has bright yellow flowers.

Basket-of-Gold produces a blanket of bright yellow flowers in early to mid-spring on spreading clumps of oblong, gray-green foliage.  Basket-of-Gold is best used in the front of a border or draping over the edges of stones in a rock garden.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.


Botanical name:

Aurinia saxatilis

All Common Names:

Basket-of-Gold, Goldentuft Madwort, Goldentuft Alyssum

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):

Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Perennial

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Massing,
  • Mixed border

Size Range:

  • Small plant (6-12 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7

Soil Preference:

  • Dry soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Dry sites,
  • Occasional drought

Season of Interest:

  • Late spring,
  • Early summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Yellow

Shape or Form:

  • Creeping,
  • Weeping

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:


9 to 12 inches tall, 18 inches wide, mounded and creeping

Plant Care

Cut back by one-third to one-half after flowering to shape the plant and prolong life.
Plant requires good drainage and prefers dry soil.  It will sprawl in overly rich soil.
Prefers not to be divided.

Diseases, pests and problems

No serious pests.  Plant is short-lived, especially in the southern portions of its zone.

Native geographic location and habitat

Russia, Turkey and central Europe

Attracts birds or pollinators


Leaf description

Leaves are alternate with one leaf per node.  They are 2 to 5 inches long with smaller stem leaves.  They are oblong, gray, and fuzzy.

Flower description

The bright yellow flowers are borne on panicles.  Each flower has four petals.

Fruit description

The fruit is a two-section dry pod, 1.5 to 3.5 inches, that splits open when ripe to release the seeds.

Cultivars and their differences

Compact Basket-of-Gold (Aurinia saxatilis 'Compactum'):  This cultivar is smaller in stature, with a rounded habit and bright yellow flowers.  It grows to six to eight inches tall.

Location of Aurinia saxatilis (Basket-of-Gold) at the Arboretum