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Diplotaxis muralis

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Diplotaxis muralis (annual wall-rocket) is a species of flowering plant in the mustard family. This plant is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but it is found throughout the temperate world, where it has naturalized. This is an erect mustard-like plant rarely reaching half a meter in height. It has lobed leaves and its stems are topped with dense inflorescences of yellow, or occasionally light purple, flowers with small oval petals and large anthers. The fruit is a podlike silique two to four centimeters long.


It is an annual, but sometimes grows as a perennial,<ref name="efloras">Template:Cite web</ref> growing up to Template:Convert tall on unbranched stems.<ref name=Readers>Template:Cite book</ref> It has lobed leaves, which form a rosette at the base of the plant. They are Template:Convert long and Template:Convert wide.<ref name="efloras"/> It blooms in summer, between May to September in the UK,<ref name=Readers/> and between April to August in China.<ref name="efloras"/> The flowers are yellow, with oblong sepals and longer, obovate petals.<ref name="efloras"/> Later, it produces a fruit capsule, long cylindrical with a short beak.<ref name=Readers/> It contains 2 rows of yellow brown seeds,<ref name=Readers/> which are ovoid or ellipsoid shaped.<ref name="efloras"/>


It was first published by Augustin Candolle in Syst. Nat. Vol.2 on page 634 in 1821, based on an earlier description by Carl Linnaeus.<ref name="plantlist">Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Linnaeus had named it 'Sisymbrium murale' in his seminal publication 'Species Plantarum' in 1753.<ref name="efloras"/>

The Latin specific epithet muralis is derived from the Latin word meaning 'growing on the wall'<ref>Archibald William Smith Template:Google books</ref>

It is commonly known as 'annual wall-rocket' or 'wall rocket', in the UK,<ref>F.H.Perring, P.D.Sell and S.M.WaltersTemplate:Google books</ref>

<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> as it can be found growing on old walls, and is similar in form to wall rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia ), which is taller and bushier.<ref name=Readers/>

It has 2 known subspecies;

  • Diplotaxis muralis subsp. ceratophylla (Batt.) Mart.-Laborde
  • Diplotaxis muralis subsp. simplex (Viv.) Jafri<ref name="plantlist"/>

Several cytological and morphological studies have suggested that D. muralis originated from natural hybridization between D. tenuifolia and D. viminea.<ref>Ueno O1, Wada Y, Wakai M, Bang SW (2006) "Evidence from photosynthetic characteristics for the hybrid origin of Diplotaxis muralis from a C3-C4 intermediate and a C3 species" Plant Biology (Stuttgart) 8(2):253-9..</ref>

Distribution and habitat

It is native to temperate regions of North Africa, Europe and parts of western Asia.<ref name="brc"/><ref name="Grin">Template:Cite web</ref>


It is found in North Africa, within Algeria, Libya, Ethiopia, Morocco and Tunisia. Within Asia it is found in the Caucasus, Georgia (country) and Turkey. In middle Europe, it is in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland. In southeastern Europe, within Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Also in southwestern Europe, it is found in France, Portugal and Spain.<ref name="Grin"/>

It has naturalised in the UK since 1778, when it was found in a field of oats raised from imported seeds from a ship wrecked on the Kent coast.<ref name="brc"/>


It grows in waste and disturbed ground,<ref name=Readers/> such as beside railways, roads and on tips.<ref name="brc">Template:Cite web</ref>


It is pollinated by bees and other flying insects.<ref name=Readers/> It is occasionally cultivated and ploughed into fields as a 'green manure'.<ref name="brc"/>



External links