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Plant profile: Alpine Wallflower (Erysimum linifolium)

Erysimum linifolium Bowle MauveThis native of Spain and Portugal this herbaceous perennial is a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae, that also includes cabbage, broccoli, and alyssum. The species forms loose mounds of wiry stems and is often decumbent but cultivars such as “Bowles mauve” are more upright. The lanceolate gray-green leaves are evergreen in mild winters. The fragrant, purple, four-petaled flowers appear in spring and are ¾” long. They are held in dense racemes well above the foliage and are attractive to butterflies. Good as an edger, cascading over a wall, or in a container. Plants are shot lived and in the South can be used like pansies, planted in the fall for early spring bloom.

Type: Herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Purple flowers in dense racemes in spring

Size: 12-15” H x 12” W

Light: Full sun but part shade in the South

Soil: Average, mediummoist, well-drained, limy

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Care: Cut back to 6 inches after flowering to encourage 2nd bloom.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed, stem cuttings after flowering on in the fall

Companion plants: Euphorbia palustris, chartreuse-leaved coleus, Tulip ‘Jan Reus’ or similar dark purple tulip, artemisia ‘Silver king’.

Outstanding Selections:
‘Bowles’ Beauty’ (upright, clear purple flowers in longer heads)
‘Variegatum’ (cream variegated foliage, lilac flowers)