Erysimum cheiri ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

wallflower

Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ is an evergreen sub-shrub with narrow grey-green leaves and upright heads of mauve flowers pretty much all year round except the depths of winter

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Origin: Greece
Genus: Erysimum
Species / Cultivar: x cheiri var. 'Bowles's Mauve'
Common Name: wallflower
Synonym: Cheiranthus cheiri, Erysimum bicolor

Plant Biography

For such a widely grown plant the origin of Erysimum ‘Bowles ‘Mauve’ is a bit of a mystery. It seems to be a fairly recent cultivar, so would never have appeared in E.A.Bowles’ garden.

Erysimum 'Bowles's Mauve'
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun
Wants direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day, such as a south facing position.
Eventual Height: 0.5 - 1.0m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.5 - 1.0m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Half Hardy
Will need protection from frosts in order to survive winter, eg. with fleece jacket.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Indispensable in a dry sunny border. Short-lived but easily replaced via cuttings, this is best cut back in mi-summer to give it a rest from flowering, so it can go off again until winter.

It’s quite an irony that the common name is ‘Wallflower’ because the Erysimum is anything but. Fragrant flowers adorn tall stems throughout summer, a magnet for all pollinators. The name actually comes from the tendency of the plant to take root in the interstices of bricks and stones of a wall.

Erysimum species have a long history of use in traditional medicine, ever since antiquity being used for heart conditions and other ailments. In the British isles, the plant was introduced during the Norman Conquest and gave birth to many cultivars.

Expert Tip

Erysimum is a perfect plant for borders, and a mix of Wallflower cultivars can instantly add colour throughout the summer. Ideal to be mixed with early spring flowers like tulips and daffodils.