Diplotaxis muralis

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Diplotaxis muralis
Kleine zandkool R0013711.JPG
Scientific classification
D. muralis
Binomial name
Diplotaxis muralis

Sisymbrium murale

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,[1] growing up to 15–60 cm (5.9–23.6 in) tall on unbranched stems.[2] It has lobed leaves, which form a rosette at the base of the plant. They are 2–9 cm (0.79–3.54 in) long and 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) wide.[1] It blooms in summer, between May to September in the UK,[2] and between April to August in China.[1] The flowers are yellow, with oblong sepals and longer, obovate petals.[1] Later, it produces a fruit capsule, long cylindrical with a short beak.[2] It contains 2 rows of yellow brown seeds,[2] which are ovoid or ellipsoid shaped.[1]


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.[3][4] Linnaeus had named it 'Sisymbrium murale' in his seminal publication 'Species Plantarum' in 1753.[1]

The Latin specific epithet muralis is derived from the Latin word meaning 'growing on the wall'[5]

It is commonly known as 'annual wall-rocket' or 'wall rocket', in the UK,[6]

[7] as it can be found growing on old walls, and is similar in form to wall rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia ), which is taller and bushier.[2]

It has 2 known subspecies;

  • Diplotaxis muralis subsp. ceratophylla (Batt.) Mart.-Laborde
  • Diplotaxis muralis subsp. simplex (Viv.) Jafri[3]

Several cytological and morphological studies have suggested that D. muralis originated from natural hybridization between D. tenuifolia and D. viminea.[8]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It is native to temperate regions of North Africa, Europe and parts of western Asia.[9][10]


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, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Also in southwestern Europe, it is found in France, Portugal and Spain.[10]

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.[9]


It grows in waste and disturbed ground,[2] such as beside railways, roads and on tips.[9]


It is pollinated by bees and other flying insects.[2] It is occasionally cultivated and ploughed into fields as a 'green manure'.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "FOC Vol. 8 Page 24". efloras.org. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain. Reader's Digest. 1981. p. 43. ISBN 9780276002175.
  3. ^ a b "Diplotaxis muralis (L.) DC. is an accepted name". 23 March 2012. theplantlist.org. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Brassicaceae Diplotaxis muralis DC". ipni.org. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  5. ^ Archibald William Smith A Gardener's Handbook of Plant Names: Their Meanings and Origins, p. 160, at Google Books
  6. ^ F.H.Perring, P.D.Sell and S.M.WaltersA Flora of Cambridgeshire, p. 54, at Google Books
  7. ^ "Diplotaxis muralis wall rocket". rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  8. ^ 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..
  9. ^ a b c d "Diplotaxis muralis". brc.ac.uk. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Taxon: Diplotaxis muralis (L.) DC". ars-grin.gov. Retrieved 10 November 2017.

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