A good cut flower

A good cut flower

By Lidia Boque Gousgouni
11 Oct 2017
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I love this time of the year, the garden is bursting back into life and spring flowers are colourful and bright.  One all-time, old-time favourite is the Wallflower.  This member of the Brassicaceae family was previously known as Cheiranthus, but is now in the Erysimum genus. The genus is made up of about 180 species of annuals and perennials and originates from Southern Europe. The common name of Wallflower actually comes from the plants' ability to grow in loose wall mortar – obviously a very hardy plant. 

The patch of orange Wallflowers near the horticulture department at Wodonga TAFE has been flowering for a few weeks now and is a splash of colour to delight the senses.  I used to only plant the purple form but the orange version is stunning, and apparently orange is the new black.

Erysimum will grow in most parts of Australia – just not well in tropical areas.  In warm, humid locations downy mildew (a fungal infection) can be a problem. To avoid fungal problems make sure your soil has good drainage and that mulch is not directly under the plant. Good ventilation between your plants will also help fight against fungal attacks.

This plant is quite versatile, you can plant it in clumps, use it in rock gardens and it also makes a good cut flower.  It grows to about 60cm tall so it could also make a fantastic border plant.  Ensure

 you plant the Wallflower in full sun or in a spot with partial afternoon shade. Wallflower will reward you with abundant flowers through late winter, spring, and into summer – it doesn’t get much better than this.

The pleasing perfume of the Erysimum’s flowers are a bonus, and this plant is known for attracting butterflies to the garden. The Wallflower is available in a wide range of colours including orange/red, yellow and mauve.  There is also a variegated leaf form available.

Another common name for this plant is ‘Winter Cheer’ and this is perfect, it does give cheer to the garden during the winter.  If you have gaps in your garden beds, think about filling those spots with the colourful Erysimum.

Diary 

Burrumbuttock Flower show and Open Gardens is on Sunday 29th October, 9.40 – 4.00pm.  This year there are workshops, the open gardens, market stalls and food available.  For more information about this day and schedules for the show – see the Facebook page for Burrumbuttock Flower show and Open Gardens.

Photo

Orange Wallflower, a vivid plant to brighten any garden.