Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Erysimum capitatum
sand dune wallflower

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the southern Great Plains, and the midwestern and mid-Atlantic U.S.

Habitat: Often in sandy soil, from sagebrush desert plains to alpine meadows.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Biennial, Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, butterflies, flies, hummingbirds


Grayish to greenish biennial from a simple crown, the stems simple or sparingly branched from the base, 2-10 dm. tall.


Basal leaves numerous, entire to sharply dentate, highly variable in size, 3-10 cm. long and 2-10 mm. wide, slender-petiolate; cauline leaves alternate, entire to denticulate or dentate, not much reduced upward.


Flowers rather showy, in crowded, bractless racemes; pedicles stout, ascending, 8-13 mm. long; sepals 4, the outer 2 saccate at the base; petals 4, yellow to deep orange or somewhat reddish, 15-25 mm. long, long-clawed; stamens 6; style beaklike, 2-3.5 mm. long, stigma bi-lobed.


Siliques ascending to erect, nearly straight, quadrangular, 3-10 cm. long and 1-1.5 mm. broad, the valves strongly nerved; seeds in 1 series, nearly wingless.

Accepted Name:
Erysimum capitatum (Douglas ex Hook.) Greene
Publication: Fl. Francisc. 269. 1891.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Erysimum asperum (Nutt.) DC., misapplied [FNA7, HC, HC2]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Erysimum capitatum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Erysimum capitatum checklist entry

OregonFlora: Erysimum capitatum information

E-Flora BC: Erysimum capitatum atlas page

CalPhotos: Erysimum capitatum photos

59 photographs:
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