Matthiola parviflora

Matthiola parviflora (flowers)

Matthiola parviflora

Matthiola parviflora

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Matthiola parviflora

Common Name: (no common name)

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Introduced. This recently naturalized plant is native to northern Africa, Israel, Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands. These photos taken in 2004 in Tucson near Saguaro National Park East are currently the first recorded sighting of this plant in North America.

Habitat: Desert. This spring wildflower can be found growing in desert areas around Tucson.

Flower Color: Pale lavender, White

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: Up to about 1 foot (30 cm) tall

Description: The flowers are in short racemes that are often below the leaves. The individual flowers are small, about 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide, non-fragrant, and have 4 narrowly egg-shaped petals with smooth, non-rippled margins. The flowers are followed by long, slender, woolly siliques (seed capsules) that are tipped with 2 horns that together look like a dolphin's tail. The leaves are green, woolly-haired above and below, basal and alternate, coarsely toothed or pinnately lobed, and oblanceolate in shape. The stems are green, leafy, mostly erect, and covered in woolly hairs.

The similar Night Scented Stock (Matthiola longipetala) is a larger plant with taller flower stalks and much larger, fragrant flowers with rippled petals, while Slimleaf Plainsmustard (Schoenocrambe linearifolia) has larger flowers with spoon-shaped petals, narrow, non-toothed, non-lobed leaves, and non-horned seed capsules, and Crossflower (Chorispora tenella) has strange-smelling, glandular-hairy foliage and non-horned seed capsules.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Capparales
Family: Brassicaceae – Mustard family
Genus: Matthiola W.T. Aiton – stock
Species: Matthiola parviflora (Schousb.) R.Br. in W.T. Aiton