Menzies’ Wallflower Facts
- Most notably, Menzies’ Wallflower serves as the common name for a very rare plant species. This lovely small plant currently appears to be endemic to only four known small individual locations.
- Further, botanists currently recognize a total of four varieties of the remarkable species. Also, all known varieties of the lovely plant presently officially list as Endangered with the IUCN.
- The flowering plant was named after Archibald Menzies, a Scottish botanist. He was the first to recognize it, in the late 18th century. However, it was rare even at the time of its discovery.
- Today, all known clusters exist within a small 8 mi (12.8 km) stretch extending along the coast. This remains the same approximate territory the flower inhabited at the time of its discovery more than two centuries ago.
Menzies’ Wallflower Physical Description
Firstly, depending on the variety, the Menzies’ Wallflower either develops a perennial or biennial. Further, the lovely plant has the physical characteristics of a short herb bearing a resemblance to a mustard plant.
The plant also most commonly attains a height of roughly 6 in (15 cm). The plentiful leaves of the species generally develop comparatively long and straight in shape. These also align themselves along the stem and have a covering of small, fine hairs.
In addition, the flowers appear at the top of the short stalk, and usually in somewhat dense clusters. These also display a bright yellow color, and the petals themselves have a highly rounded shape.
Also, the small fruits produced by the plant grow relatively long and protrude almost straight out from the short stem.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Brassicales
- Family: Brassicaceae
- Genus: Erysimum
- Species: E. menziesii
Menzies’ Wallflower Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Quite sadly, the marvelous Menzies’ Wallflower only inhabits a tiny portion of California, in the United States, in North America. Further, it only seems to grow in very specialized sand dune habitats along the edge of the coastline.
While the lovely flowering plant produces copious quantities of seeds, propagation rarely succeeds in new specimens. In fact, roughly 98% of all seedlings fail to survive the first year.
This quite rare and unique plant currently has protection under both local and federal law in all known locations. Unfortunately, it faces a number of threats directly tied to its particular habitat.
These include more than the understandable threat poised by climate change. Other dangers it faces include trampling by hikers, off-road vehicles, sand mining. Finally, the presence of invasive species also help place it in peril.