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Western Wallflower

Erysimum capitatum

Western Wallflower, Erysium capitatum, photo © by Michael Plagens

Along Sycamore Creek at junction with Mesquite Wash, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA, 24 April 2009.

FLOWERS: Bright yellow to orange-tinted flowers with four large petals and a conspicuous stigma rising above the floral center. Four petals, four sepals and six stamens. Blooming mid spring.

RANGE: Found on upper slopes in the desert mountains as well as in transition to chaparral and piñon/juniper habitats. More common at the higher elevations. Also found throughout the western United States with several recognized varieties/subspecies.

BIENNIAL HERB: Herbaceous plant blooming in second year on meter tall spike. During first year of growth majority of leaves are in a cluster at ground level: basal rosette.

LEAVES: The lower basal leaves tend to be oblong whereas those on stem above may be more linear. Leaf margins sometimes toothed.

FRUIT: Long, four-sided or flattened pods are oriented upwards.


Brassicaceae Mustard Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 18 May 2009, updated 17 Feb. 2012