Syn.: Pectanisia phyteuma (L.) Raf., Reseda litigiosa Sennen et Pau, Reseda aragonensis Loscos et J. Pardo
Family: Resedaceae S. F. Gray
Reseda phyteuma
Distribution: Mediterranean region and southern part of Central Europe, eastward to the Caucasus, northward to Czechia. It was introduced to North America (New York and Pennsylvania), southeastern Australia and Chile.
Ecology: It grows on rocky hillsides, in fields, pastures, and old vineyards, also in disturbed sites. It blooms from April to September.
Reseda phyteuma
Description: Annual to short-lived perennial herb, 10–20(–50) cm tall, with ascending branches near the base. Leaves spathulate, long-cuneate, sometimes with 1(–2) lobes on each side (leaf-shape is very plastic), 50–100 × 5–15 mm. Flowers in terminal, bracteate racemes; bracts 2.5–3 mm; sepals 6, 3–5(–13) × 1–3.5 mm; petals 6, 3–5 mm long, clawed, the two upper with limb 3-lobed, the lateral lobes pinnatifid, each with 5–9 linear-oblanceolate segments, white. The fruit is a capsule, 13–14 mm long, nodding.
Threat and protection: The Rampion Mignonette is protected by law in Czechia and Slovakia.
Use: It was grown in southern Europe as a medicinal herb and as a vegetable.
Note: The genus contains about 60 species, which are native in Africa, Asia and Europe.
Reseda phyteumaReseda phyteuma
Reseda phyteuma
These images were taken in Italy, Gargano, Valle Carbonara (April 18, 2008).