Wallflowers, an essential ingredient of spring bedding, create a bright display and a rich scent, but are now mainly superseded by cultivars. However, the main original parent still surpasses many other cottage garden flowers! With narrow, dark-green foliage and four-petalled, sweetly-scented, bright yellow-orange flowers produced in short spikes in spring, it is well-worth growing or indeed naturalising in a hot dry spot. Good for attracting wildlife, bees and butterflies, it prefers a well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil and even maritime exposure.
Seeds can be sown at any time but are best sown in winter or early spring to benefit from a cold spell in the wet compost to break their dormancy. We advise covering seeds very thinly with sand or fine grit to about the depth of the seed size. If the seeds do not come up within 6 to 12 weeks the damp seed tray can be given cold treatment in a fridge for about four weeks. They may still take very many months to appear, so please never discard the pot or tray.
Common name:Common wallflower, Cheiranthus cheiri, Erysimum suffruticosum