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Erysimum capitatum var. purshii (Pursh's wallflower)
Anderson, Wynn

Erysimum capitatum var. purshii

Erysimum capitatum (Douglas ex Hook.) Greene var. purshii (Durand) Rollins

Pursh's Wallflower, Alpine Wallflower

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Synonym(s): Erysimum amoenum, Erysimum argillosum, Erysimum asperrimum, Erysimum asperum var. amoenum, Erysimum asperum var. purshii, Erysimum capitatum var. amoenum, Erysimum capitatum var. argillosum, Erysimum desertorum, Erysimum nivale


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A low plant with several short stems growing from tufts of basal leaves and bearing yellow or yellow-orange flowers with rusty-backed petals in compact racemes.

Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) is one of the West's most striking wildflowers. It is also one of the most variable species, with very wide ecological tolerance. This variation has defied easy botanical classification; some botanists recognize no varieties, while others attempt to demonstrate the complex variation through nomenclature. The very short alpine phases in the Rocky Mountains were once recognized as a separate species, E. nivale (nivale means "of snow" and refers to the plant's habitat). E. capitatum var. purshii now includes this and numerous other short-stemmed phases of Western Wallflower. The short-stemmed habit, characteristic of many alpine plants, is an adaptation for rapid flower production and protection from the cold.


From the Image Gallery

23 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb

Bloom Information

Bloom Time: Jun , Jul


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , NM , TX , UT , WY
Native Distribution: Eastern Utah and Colorado south to central Mexico.
Native Habitat: Dry slopes, rocky ridges, sagebrush flats, aspen and spruce areas, and alpine tundra at moderate to high elevations.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Erysimum capitatum var. purshii in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Erysimum capitatum var. purshii in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Erysimum capitatum var. purshii


Record Modified: 2021-03-31
Research By: TWC Staff

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