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What is Erysimum?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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Erysimum is a genus of plant that contains close to 200 different species. The species are a mixture of wild and garden plants. In general the plants are small and only live for around a year. They are found across the world, including some parts of Asia, America, and Europe. Erysimum plants are often referred to as wallflowers.

In most cases, Erysimum plants rarely grow to more than 47 inches (120 cm) and most are much smaller than this. In fact, the majority of species grow to around 10 inches (25 cm) in size. The stems of the plants are usually erect, and the leaves are relatively narrow compared to other types of genus. Flowering happens during either the summer or spring depending on the exact species.

Erysimum plants play an important role in nature as they are food for certain types of insects. For example, some butterfly larvae rely on the plants for food. Weevils are known to reside inside the fruit of some types of wallflower. Other animals that use the plants for food include deer and ibex.

Bees and other flying insects are responsible for pollinating Erysimum plants. There are some species of the plant that are only pollinated by specific insects, although most can be pollinated by many. The Teide wallflower, for example, is only pollinated by a specific type of bee known as the Anthophora.

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Although Erysimum species can be found all over the world, an individual type may only occur in a specific area. This can make certain species vulnerable to changes in the climate and environment. For example, certain wallflower plants are only found on islands such as Tenerife and nowhere else. In general, the genus is abundant, but there are certain species which are in danger of becoming extinct.

A popular example of an Erysimum plant is the Franciscan wallflower. This is found along the coast of California and is a perennial plant. The flowers of the Franciscan wallflower are yellow. Although the plant is not considered to be in danger of extinction, it is only found in a few select areas and may not be completely stable in the wild.

Other popular species of the genus include the Crete wallflower, Turkish wallflower, and Teide wallflower. Many of these species are used as plants in gardens by gardeners across the world. Not all species, however, are suitable for garden use.

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