Perennial Wallflowers

12th Mar 2021

Perennial Wallflowers

Now is a good time to plant perennial wallflowers (Erysimum) for a good display of flowers this year and for several years to come.

There is a lot of history associated with these plants. In the 12th century, Troubadours would wear a sprig of wallflower to signify that their love survives time and misfortune. It is said that this is as a result of seeing the plant growing on the ruins of fallen towers, the rather romantic image of beauty and fragrance amongst desolation.

In Palestine, the wallflower is known as the 'blood drops of Christ'.

Mention Perennial Wallflower and most people think of the ubiquitous 'Bowles Mauve' but there are many other varieties available, offering a wide range of colours and sizes.

Perennial Wallflowers are longer lived than the traditional bedding plant wallflower and will live for several years. They are invaluable in late spring and early summer, when they are covered in typical wallflower clusters in various colours, offering a valuable food source for our bees and butterflies.

Most are scented and all enjoy hot, dry, sunny conditions. They are often found growing in rough, poor soil, including on walls of ruined buildings (hence the name), so you can see that they do not need much looking after!

We sell a 24 varieties and species Erysimum, including a rarely offered dwarf Erysimum (hieraciifolium), and Erysimum cheiri which is thought to be the original English Wallflower, from which many cultivars have been bred. Native to the eastern Mediterranean, Erysimum cheiri may have come to Britain with Norman stonemasons. Alternatively, it has been suggested that it could have come to Britain with returning crusaders in medieval times.

To view our range, click here.