The delicate Menzies’ Wallflower serves as the common name of a very rare plant species. This lovely small plant currently appears to be endemic to only four known small individual areas in California, in North America.
Currently, biologists only know of four recognized subspecies. Also, all known varieties of the Menzies’ Wallflower presently officially list as Endangered with the IUCN.
These plants only seem to grow in very specialized sand dune habitats along the edge of the California coastline. The flowering plant was named after Archibald Menzies, who was the first to discover it, in the late 18th century.
The Menzies’ Wallflower 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 Characteristics
Depending on the variety, the Menzies’ Wallflower either develops a perennial or biennial. The lovely plant has the physical characteristics of a short herb bearing a resemblance to a mustard plant.
The plant most commonly attains a height of roughly 6 in (15 cm). The plentiful leaves of the Menzies’ Wallflower generally develop comparatively long and straight in shape. They also align themselves along the stem and have a covering of small, fine hairs.
The top of the stem produces a thick bunching of beautiful small flowers. The petals develop rounded, and a bright yellow in color.
The small fruits produced by the Menzies’ Wallflower grow relatively long and protrude almost straight out from the short stem.
This quite rare and unique plant currently has protection under both local and federal law in all known locations.