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Pakistan | Family List | Brassicaceae

Erysimum Linn., Sp. Pl. 660. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5: 296. 1754; Benth. & Hook. f., l.c. 79; Hook. f., l.c. 152; Boiss., l.c. 186; Schulz in Engl. & Prantl, l.c. 576; Busch in Kom., l.c. 92; Cullen in Davis, l.c. 466; Rech. f., l.c. 285.

Erysimum melicentae
Illustration

Credit: Shaukat & Azmat

Annual, biennial or perennial herbs, sometimes woody at base and shrubby, branched mostly from below, pubescent with 2-4-partite, appressed hairs, rarely stellately hairy, usually rough; stem usually very leafy, ± tetragonate or terete. Leaves simple, entire to pinnatifid, stalked to sessile, usually broadly linear to elliptic, often with triangulate teeth. Racemes usually many flowered, corymbose, elongated in fruit. Flowers usually medium sized and yellow or orange, pedicellate; pedicels often short and thickened in fruit, ascending or spreading. Sepals erect, inner ± saccate at base. Petals usually twice as long as the sepals, long-clawed. Stamens 6; filaments not appendaged; anthers linear-oblong. Lateral nectar glands annular or semiannular; middle glands short, not joining the laterals, often 2-3 lobed. Ovary linear-terete, pubescent, many ovuled; style short with a ± bilobed, capitate stigma. Siliquae often elongated, ± tetragonate or terete, pubescent; valves with a distinct mid-vein or rib; septum membranous, often rigid, not veined; seeds many, uniseriate, oblong, often subangular.

About 100 species, chiefly Eurasian; only 15 species (incl. 1 cultivated) recorded from our area.

A difficult genus due to highly variable nature of several of its species. A year old plant may look like an annual and may sometimes confuse the identification of its perennial species. However it is a very natural genus and one of the largest in the family for our area.


1 Annual herbs   (2)
+ Biennial, perennial or shrubby herbs   (4)
       
2 (1) Siliquae with 2-partite, appressed hairs (rarely hairs 3-partite)   Erysimum sisymbrioides
+ Siliquae with 2-3-partite, appressed hairs   (3)
       
3 (2) Siliquae short, 15-20 (-30) mm long with 1-2 mm long ascending pedicels; racemes often leafy or bracteate.   Erysimum griffithianum
+ Siliquae elongated, 40-60 mm long with 5-10 mm long, spreading pedicels; racemes ebracteate (sometimes leafy but flowers not bracteate)   Erysimum repandum
       
4 (1) Hairs stellate, 5-7-parted; stem glabrous, glaucous, somewhat yellowish   (5)
+ Hairs 2-4-partite appressed; stem neither glabrous nor yellowish   (6)
       
5 (4) Stem branched from the base; petals c. 8(-10) mm long   Erysimum stocksianum
+ Stem branched from its middle; petals (10-) 15-20 mm long   Erysimum crassicaule
       
6 (4) Hairs mostly 2-partite, appressed   (7)
+ Hairs 2-4-partite, appressed   (12)
       
7 (6) Flowers small, 5-6 mm across; petals 1.5-2.5 mm broad   (8)
+ Flowers large, 10-15 mm across; petals 4-9 mm broad   (9)
       
8 (7) Siliquae 15-25 mm long. Plants shrubby whitish in appearance   Erysimum erosum
+ Siliquae 45-90 mm long. Plants perennial, greenish in appearance   Erysimum thomsonii
       
9 (7) Siliquae ± horizontally spreading with subsessile stigma; pedicels short, up to 5 mm long and thick, stout in fruit   Erysimum aitchisonii
+ Siliquae ± erect with stigma on 2-3 mm long style; pedicels up to 15 mm long, not thickened in fruit   (10)
       
10 (9) Perennial, much branched from the base; leaves narrowly linear, 1-3 mm broad   8 Erysimum altaicum
+ Biennial; stem simple rarely branched; leaves oblanceolate or oblong-elliptic, 5-12 mm broad   (11)
       
11 (10) Petals 4-5 mm broad; pedicels 5-7 mm long in fruit   Erysimum perofskianum
+ Petals 6.9 mm broad; pedicels 10-15 mm long in fruit   Erysimum melicentae
       
12 (6) Plants small 5-10 cm tall in fruit; cauline leaves few (2-3 usually).   Erysimum schlagintweitianum
+ Plants usually tall, 30-90 cm in fruit; cauline leaves many   (13)
       
13 (12) Siliquae c. 2.5 mm broad, terete linearoblong with a conspicuous mid-rib on the valve   6 Erysimum cachemiricum
+ Siliquae c. 1.5 (-2) mm broad, linearterete with faint or not so prominent mid-rib on the valve   (14)
       
14 (13) Pedicels 1-3 mm long in fruit; siliquae c. 30 mm long, 1 mm broad. Radical leaves narrowly oblanceolate, entire   Erysimum persepolitanum
+ Pedicels 5-10 mm long in fruit; siliquae 40-60 mm long, 1.5-2 mm broad. Radical leaves oblong-elliptic to oblanceolate, ± dentate (rarely subentire or entire)   Erysimum hieraciifolium

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