Native to Greece, this perennial subshrub is often grown as an annual or biennial. It is a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae, that also includes cabbage, alyssum, and common stock. The plants grow 6-24″ tall and may be woody at the base with one to many highly branched stems growing from a rosette of long narrow pointed leaves that are 2-8″ long . In spring, club-shaped clusters of 10-30 flowers appear on leafy stems. The flowers are 3/4″ wide and have 4 petals that are bright yellow or yellow-orange to brown, sometimes with reddish purple or burgundy touches. Attractive to butterflies and moths, the flowers are also good in the vase. The fruit is a thin, flattened, dehiscent seed pod 1-4″ long. Cultivars are available in varying colors from cream to dark red. With a tolerance to drought, maritime conditions, and lean soil, Aegean wallflower is a good choice for coastal, rock, and wall gardens as well as containers. The genus name, Erysimum, is from the Greek word eryo meaning to drag. The specific epithet, cheiri, is from the Greek word cheir meaning hand and refers to the Medieval custom of carrying a bouquet of wall flowers in the hand to celebrations.

Type: Perennial sub-shrub

Outstanding Feature: Flowers

Form: Rounded

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Club-shaped clusters of yellow, yellow-orange to brown sometimes with touches of purple or burgundy in spring

Size: 6-24″ H x 6-18″ W

Light: Full sun (some afternoon shade in the South)

Soil: Average, dry to medium moist, very well-drained, alkaline; tolerates lean soil, drought and maritime conditions

Hardiness: Zones 7-9

Care: Cut down after seed dispersal to ensure self-seeding

Pests and Diseases: Snails, slugs, flea beetles, powdery mildew, club root and bacterial leaf blight

Propagation: Seed planted in spring

Outstanding Selections:

’Sunset Apricot’

’Sunset Primrose’

Photo Credit: Hans B Wikipedia

By Karen