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ERYSIMUM cheiri

Image of Erysimum cheiri

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Brassicaceae

Botanical Name

ERYSIMUM cheiri

Plant Common Name

Wallflower

General Description

The bright, sweetly fragrant blooms of this southern European native are a familiar spring sight (and smell) in English gardens. This herbaceous perennial is usually grown as an annual or biennial, performing its best when temperatures aren't too warm.

Low shrubby clumps of narrow, lance-shaped, bright green leaves give rise in spring to short erect stems topped with dense clusters of four-petaled blooms. Flower color may be orange, red, maroon, yellow, or ivory. Deadheaded plants often rebloom if temperatures remain moderate.

This tender perennial grows best where summers and winters are mild. It prefers full sun and well drained, moderately fertile, neutral to alkaline soil. Deadhead plants to prolong bloom and prevent self-sowing.

Numerous wallflower cultivars are available including 'Fire King', with nasturtium-red blooms, and the pastel-flowered Fair Lady Series. Most cultivars are propagated from seed sown outdoors in fall or indoors in late winter. Nurseries and garden centers sometimes offer plants in fall or early spring.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    10"-30" / 25.4cm - 76.2cm

  • Width

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Southern Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Yellow, Red, Orange, Light Yellow, Pink, Salmon, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes