WALL-FLOWER

Erysimum cheiri

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZarchaeophyte
 
flower
flower8yellow
or
flower
flower8orange
or
flower
flower8red
or
flower
flower8purple
or
flower
flower8brown
or
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ4
 
stem
stem8round
 
sex
sexZbisexual
 

Photo: © RWD
On older specimens the stems eventually go woody below. This is a young plant. The leaves are distinctive for species of Erysimum being oval and broader near the end plus toothless (or almost so).


Photo: © RWD
A flowering specimen.


Photo: © RWD
The flowers of Wallflowers can be any colour from yellow or orange, red, purple or brown(ish). Irrespective of the initial colour, if they spread from seed then those plants will usually end up having yellow flowers, which must be the modal colour.


Photo: © RWD
Wallflowers are members of the Brassicaceae family and therefore have 4 petals.


29th March 2014, Moses Gate Country Pk, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Like other brassicas the plants have 4 sepals (green) and 4 petals.


29th March 2014, Moses Gate Country Pk, Bolton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The tips of the sepals are brown here, possibly in response to the sun. The stems are also brownish.




Photo: © RWD
The seed pods are a little unusual: consisting of 2 shallow-V- shaped green parts, one on each side, cupping a brown inner which also bears the two re-curved stigma at the top which are fawn-coloured on the inside. The seed pods sit on a yellowish slightly-bulging pedestal.


Photo: © RWD
When ripe the seed pods pop open with a startlingly loud crack, the two green parts parting at the bottom and curling outwards revealing a central brown 'flat lollipop stick' objects with many round seeds in a linear row up the structure on both sides. [Sorry, no photo of this, your Author saw an image on the internet].


Photo: © RWD
The seed pod, still closed shut.


Photo: © RWD
Bowles Mauve, a cultivar awarded with a garden merit by the RHS. This is a bushy evergreen short-lived perennial which is treated as a biennial wallflower. A purple (or yellow or red or pink) flowered plant with immature but growing seed pods. Your Author does not know if these at-the-moment tubular seed pods will become the same flattened pods as above. If not, then it isn't a Wallflower after all...


Not to be semantically confused with : Wall-rue (Asplenium ruta-muraria), Wall-Rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia), Wall Whitlowgrass (Draba muralis), Wall Bedstraw (Galium parisiense), Wall Barley (Hordeum murinum), Wall Lettuce (Mycelis muralis), Pellitory-of-the-Wall (Parietaria judaica), Wall Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys), Wall Pennywort (Umbilicus rupestris), Wall Speedwell (Veronica arvensis) nor with Wallaby-grass (Rytidosperma racemosum) [plants with similar names belonging to some differing families (and others the same Brassicaceae)]


Easily mistaken for 3 other Erysimums :

Treacle Mustard (Erysimum cheiranhoides) which is an erect annual growing to 60cm (up to 1m) high with elliptical lower leaves which are either toothless or shallowly toothed and small hairy-on-the-underside yellow petals just 3 to 6mm long.

Siberian Wallflower (Erysimum × marshallii) which is usually biennial and growing erect to 50cm with with stems which are frequently branched lower down and leaves which are narrow-elliptical with teeth only near the ends - which is also grown extensively in gardens but which does not naturalise in the wild - although it may be found thrown away on tips etc.

The third Erysium is Spreading Treacle-mustard (Erysimum repandum) a well-branched annual growing erect to 50cm with yellow petals between 6 and 10mm long. It has lower leaves which are lanceolate and often shallowly to deeply lobed but this is now much less common than was.


Like most Brassicaceae the species in Ersimum produce toxic Glucosinolates for defence but they additionally also produce cardiac glycoside which are also used by the plant for defence against insects. Cardiac glycosides are also toxic to humans (and probably many other animals too).


  Erysimum cheiri  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Erysimum
Erysimum
(Wallflowers)

WALL-FLOWER

Erysimum cheiri

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]