Matthiola sinuata - Sea Stock

Matthiola sinuata, Sea Stock

Taxonomy

Phylum: Anthophyta

Class: Equisetopsida

Order: Brassicales

Family: Brassicaceae

Identification

Flowers of Sea Stock have four pale-lilac petals, which have a very faint scent (difficult to detect in typically breezy coastal conditions!). Seedpods are up to 12cm long when fully developed, and they are slightly curved. The grey-green leaves and stems are coverered with thick grey down.

Plants in reasonably sheltered sites can grow to a height of 30cm, but often they are spreading in form and rather broader than they are tall.

Distribution

More common in southern Europe, in Britain the main stronghold of this rather rare wildflower in the costal strip of south Wales. Not surprisingly this plant is also found in the Channel Islands. Elsewhere in Britain Sea Stock is now very rare indeed.

Habitat

Sandy shingle just in front of the first line of vegetated dunes is where Sea Stock is most often seen in Britain. Further south in Europe this lovely coastal wildflower can sometimes be found further inland from the litoral line.

Matthiola sinuata, Sea Stock - closeup of flowers

Blooming Times

In Britain this plant flowers from June to August, while further south in Europe it blooms earlier - we see it flowering in March and April on the Algarve Coast, for example.

Etymology

Similar Species

Three-horned Stock Matthiola tricuspidata is a rarer Mediterranean species distinguished by the shape of its seedpods.

Matthiola sinuata, Sea Stock, Kenfig, Wales UK

The Sea Stock pictures shown on this page were taken in Wales, UK.


Volume 1

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