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Wallflower (Pretty Wallflower)

Erysimum asperum

Erysimum asperum

Family: Brassicaceae (A Utah Flora – Cruciferae) – Mustard Family

Biennial or short-lived herbs; stems 4.7” to 3.3' (1.2 to 10 dm) tall or more

Leaves: alternate or basal and still alternate; simple; basal leaves 0.8” to 4.8” (2 to 12 cm) long, 0.08” to 0.56” (2 to 14 mm) wide; upper leaves 0.44” to 4.16” (1.1 to 10.4 cm) long, 0.04” to 0.6” (1 to 15 mm) wide

Flowers: 4 yellow petals in the shape of a cross or crucifer; 4 sepals; usually 6 stamens (with 2 outer shorter than the inner 4); 1 pistil; flowers in corymbs or racemes; usually radially symmetrical, sepals 4; petals 0.48” to 1.12” (12 to 28 mm) long; nectar glands commonly 4

Pollinators: other Erysimum species are pollinated by insects and hummingbirds

Fruits: silique - a pod with 2 compartments with a thin partition

Blooms in Arches National Park: March, April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: upper Courthouse wash, Windows primitive trail, Windows road between Pothole Arch and Garden of Eden

Other: The genus name, “Erysimum”, is from the Greek “eryomai” which means “to help or save” referring to the medicinal qualities of some species. The species name, “asperum”, means “rough”.

Many plants in this family are weeds and they flower early because they are annual. Many vegetables are in this family– radish, cabbage, cauliflower. A few species of plants in this family are poisonous to livestock.

Did You Know?

Pinyon Pine

Pinyon trees do not produce pine nuts every year. These delicious nuts can only be harvested every three to seven years. This irregular schedule prevents animals from adapting to an abundance of pine nuts and guarantees that at least some nuts will become new trees instead of a quick meal.