Malcolmia littorea, a perennial plant with purple colored flowers

Malcolmia littorea also known as Wallflower . It belongs to the Brasicáceas family. Being native to the European coastline of the western Mediterranean basin, the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the Cantabrian coast to the west of Asturias.

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Malcomia is the name of the genus, which was named after William Malcolm, a gardener and nurseryman in Kennington, England or his nephew William Malcolm, director of the Kennington England nursery.

The name of the species Littorea is a Latin epithet that means “on the coast, close to the sea”

Characteristics of Malcolmia littorea

Perennial plant with a woody base and several stems.

The stems are prostrate, erect or ascending, about 10 to 40 cm, ash-white in color and covered with dense tomentum formed by stellate hairs.

The leaves are subsssile, obovate, oblong-linear or simply linear, with entire or sinuate-toothed edge.

The flowers are hermaphroditic, arranged in clusters of 5 to 20 flowers, 4 petals and purple-lilac in color.

They have 4 free sepals, covered with tomentum. The external ones are cucullated, without scarious margin and the internal ones saciform at the base with a whitish margin.

The fruit is of the linear silique type, slightly tortuous.

The seeds are dark brown, ovoid or oblong with a reticular-rough surface.

Malcolmia littorea care

It is a protected species, which is included in the Regional Catalog of the Principality of Asturias as a species in danger of extinction since 1995, due to the alteration of its habitat by human action.

Plant found in secondary or gray dunes.

It does not support shade, so it must be located in full sun.

As for the soil, it must be dry, with an acidity of 3.5 – 5.5, poor in nitrogen, rich in organic matter and well drained.

Irrigation should be moderate, avoiding puddles.

The fertilizer should be a mineral specific one every 15 days at the beginning of spring and summer.

It is a plant resistant to pests. However, if the heat is too strong, spiders and aphids can attack it.

It reproduces by means of seeds, which are dispersed by the wind due to its small size.

As you will realize, this beautiful specimen has suffered a drastic loss due to the mismanagement of man. But it is never too late to recover something of what nature offers us.

So if you have the possibility, get some seeds and share with yours. But always in a responsible way so that it begins to spread properly.

Images courtesy of: Katja Schulz, Manuel MV

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