Brassicaceae Dithyrea wislizenii

Dithyrea wislizenii

Dithyrea wislizenii

Synonym: Dimorphocarpa wislizenii

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

Annual or winter annual herbs from taproots; stems 2.8” to 1.6' (0.7 to 5 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate; simple; pinnatifid; 0.48” to 3.8” (1.2 to 9.5 cm) long, 0.08” to 1” (2 to 25 mm) wide

Flowers: 4 white petals (the claws are sometimes lavender); petals are in the shape of a cross – crucifer; petals 0.19” to 0.32” (4.8 to 8 mm) long; 4 sepals; 6 stamens (with 2 outer shorter than the inner 4); 1 pistil; flowers in racemes; nectar glands commonly 4

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (butterflies, moths, bees and flies); some self-fertile

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

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May

Habitat in Arches National Park: sandy areas in desert shrub, grassland and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: park road north of Petrified Dunes, Windows primitive trail, Delicate Arch road, Fiery Furnace

Other: The genus name, “Dithyrea”, means “two shields” which describes the seed pods. The species name, “wislizenii”, honors Friedrich Adolph Wislizenus (1810-1889) a German physician who immigrated to the United States in 1835, joined a trading caravan to Mexico in 1846 and made observations on the local flora and fauna.

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.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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