Wallflower (Pretty Wallflower)
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 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.