Erysimum cheiranthoides (Wormseed Mustard) - photos and description



Stalks of pods are half as long as the pods.


General: Erect plant with a narrow or branching growth habit. Stems angled, foliage rough hairy, some hairs are forked. The lower stem may be purple-red in colour.

Flowers: Inflorescence is dense cymes of small, bright yellow flowers. We measured a flower petal at 2 mm long, and a flower at 4 mm diameter.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, narrowly lanceolate, the lower leaves with short petioles, the upper are sessile. We measured a leaf at 40 mm long by 7 mm wide.

Fruit: Pods are erect and four-angled. We measured a pod at 15 mm long by 1 mm wide, with a stalk 9 mm long, the stalks of the pods are about half as long as the pods.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 60 cm, we measured plants to 74 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist grassland and fields.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native and introduced subspecies exist on the prairies.

How to identify this species: 1) Stalks of seed pods about half as long as the pod (Budd's Flora). 2) Flowers 3-4 mm diameter, pods 1 to 2 cm long (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants). 

This plant might be confused with Erysimum inconspicuum, however that plant has pods with stalks less than 1/4 as long as the pods, while Erysimum cheiranthoides has pods with stalks about half as long as the pods (Budd's Flora).

When and where photographed: Photos taken July 16th, weedy sandy prairie full of brome grass, about 25 km east of our home in Regina, SK.