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Erysimum cheiri

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Steppe Cabbage, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Cliffs, gardens, rocky places, seaside, walls, wasteland.

Variable in colour, 4 petals
Variably coloured flowers, up to 3cm across. Yellow, orange, brown, purple or red. 4 well-spaced petals.
A long, erect, cylindrical pod, up to 7cm long.
A perennial garden escape. Narrow, spear-shaped and untoothed leaves. The uppermost leaves are the narrowest.
The flowers are very fragrant.
Other Names:
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Erysimum cheiri is a species of flowering plant in the Brassicaceae family. It is a perennial herbaceous plant with bright yellow flowers and a rosette of leaves. It is native to Europe and North Africa, and has become naturalized in some parts of North America. The species is often grown as an ornamental, and has been used in traditional medicine for treating a variety of ailments.


Wallflower, Erysimum cheiri, is a popular and hardy garden plant known for its vibrant yellow, orange, and red flowers that bloom profusely in the spring and summer months. This drought-tolerant plant is native to Europe and Asia but has naturalized in many parts of the world, making it a popular choice for gardeners everywhere.

Wallflowers are part of the Brassicaceae family and are closely related to other popular garden plants such as cabbage and mustard. They are compact and bushy in shape, growing up to 1 meter in height and width. Their leaves are lance-shaped and can be a rich green or bluish-green, depending on the cultivar.

The star of the show in a wallflower garden are the clusters of fragrant flowers that appear in early spring, continuing until the summer. These flowers come in a range of colors including yellow, orange, red, and pink, and their sweet fragrance attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The blooms are an excellent source of nectar and provide a colorful and fragrant backdrop to other spring and summer flowers in the garden.

Wallflowers are easy to grow and care for, making them a great choice for gardeners of all levels of experience. They are tough and adaptable, thriving in a range of soils and climates. They prefer full sun or light shade, and well-drained soil, but will also tolerate poorer soils. They are also relatively pest and disease-free, which makes them a low-maintenance choice for busy gardeners.

For those who are looking for a pop of color in their garden, wallflowers are a perfect choice. Their vibrant flowers, sweet fragrance, and ease of care make them a popular and versatile addition to any garden. Whether used as a border plant, a rock garden specimen, or as part of a mixed garden bed, wallflowers will provide a show-stopping display of color and fragrance that will last throughout the growing season.

In addition to their beauty, wallflowers are also used in traditional medicine in some parts of the world. The leaves, seeds, and flowers of the plant contain compounds that have been used to treat various ailments, including coughs, colds, and respiratory problems. It is important to note that these uses are not scientifically proven and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care.

Another important use of wallflowers is as cut flowers. The colorful and fragrant blooms make them a popular choice for floral arrangements and are often used in wedding bouquets, table centerpieces, and other decorative arrangements. Their long vase life and versatility make them a popular choice for both home and commercial use.

In the garden, wallflowers are often used as a companion plant, as they can help to deter pests and improve soil health. They also make excellent container plants, and can be grown in pots on patios, balconies, and windowsills. This makes them a great option for those who have limited garden space or want to add color to their outdoor living areas.

Finally, wallflowers are also great for attracting wildlife to your garden. In addition to attracting bees and butterflies, they also provide food and shelter for a range of other insects, birds, and small mammals. This makes them a great choice for those who are looking to create a wildlife-friendly garden.

It's worth noting that while wallflowers are generally low-maintenance and easy to grow, they do require some basic care to keep them healthy and thriving. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your wallflowers:

  1. Watering: Wallflowers are drought-tolerant, but they do need regular watering, especially during hot, dry spells. Water them deeply once a week, or more often if the soil is dry.

  2. Fertilizing: Wallflowers benefit from regular fertilization, especially during the growing season. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer, or top dress with compost or organic matter.

  3. Pruning: Pruning helps to keep wallflowers compact and healthy, and also encourages the growth of new, fresh foliage and flowers. Prune back the plant by about a third in early spring, or after the first flush of flowers has faded.

  4. Pests and Diseases: Wallflowers are generally pest and disease-free, but they can be susceptible to aphids, slugs, and snails. Keep an eye out for these pests and treat them promptly if they appear.

  5. Overwintering: Wallflowers are perennials and will come back year after year, but they may need protection in cold climates. Mulch around the base of the plant in late fall to help insulate the roots and protect them from cold temperatures.

In conclusion, wallflowers are a great choice for gardeners who want a hardy, colorful, and low-maintenance garden plant. With a little care and attention, they will reward you with a profusion of vibrant, fragrant blooms year after year.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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