Erysimum menziesii

Erysimum menziesii is a species of Erysimum known by the common name Menzies' wallflower.

Erysimum menziesii
subsp. eurekense

Imperiled (NatureServe)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Erysimum
E. menziesii
Binomial name
Erysimum menziesii

This rare plant is endemic to California. It is found only in the declining beach sand dune habitat in three areas on the California coastline, in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Monterey Counties. It is listed as an endangered species on the California state and federal levels. There are three to four subspecies depending on the authority, and each is rare.


Erysimum menziesii is a mustardlike biennial or perennial herb which is short in size, reaching maximum heights of usually not more than 15 centimeters. The leaves are long and straight along the stem, and often thicker, hairier, and lobed in shape at the base. The top of the stem is occupied by a thick bunch of flowers with bright yellow, rounded petals. The flowers fall away to leave behind the fruits, which are very long siliques sticking straight out. The plant can vary in appearance, particularly across subspecies.

At least one subspecies is pollinated by the similarly distressed bee Emphoropsis miserabilis.[1] The plant has high fecundity, but very low seedling survivorship, with over 98% of seedlings perishing within the first year.[1] At least one subspecies is commonly infected with the white rust fungus Albugo canadensis.[1]

Plant in typical habitat


Subspecies include:


Because Erysimum menziesii ssp. concinnum has been included within this species since it received its federal listing as Erysimum concinnum, the species is now technically more abundant than it was then, but there is no current reliable estimate of the species' abundance now.[1] In 1997, there were about 22 occurrences containing 33,000 individuals, not counting ssp. concinnum.[6]

A number of forces threaten the species' existence. Minor threats include trampling by hikers and horseback riders, off-road vehicles, and sand mining operations. Many occurrences of the plant are protected from these threats.[1] A more major threat is the invasion of non-native plant species such as Pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata). Conservation projects underway for the species include removal of this vegetation from the habitat.


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