They may be called wallflowers, but for early-season bloom, these biennials and perennials are belles of the ball. All have the clustered, four-petaled flowers typical of the plants in the brassica (mustard) family, but their habits and uses differ widely. In the South, usually grown as cool-season annuals.
- Perennial in Zones US, MS; USDA 6-7, but usually grown as a biennial or an annual.
- From southern Europe.
- Branching, woody-based plants to 1212 feet high, 1112 feet wide, with narrow, bright green leaves and broad clusters of showy, sweet-scented flowers in spring.
- Blossoms are yellow, cream, orange, red, brown, or burgundy, sometimes shaded or veined with contrasting color.
- Sow seeds in spring for bloom the following year (some strains flower the first year if seeded early); or set out plants in fall or earliest spring.
- May self-sow.
- Regular water.
Charity series includes dwarf plants (1214 inches
- tall and not quite as wide) that don't need winter chill to induce flowering; set out in spring for fall bloom.
- Selections include soft yellow 'Charity Cream', golden yellow 'Charity Yellow', and dusty rose 'Charity Rose'.
- Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
- Many excellent choices available.
- Most popular is 'Bowles Mauve', 3 feet high and 46 feet wide, with narrow gray-green leaves held on erect stems, each topped by a 112 feet-long, narrow, spikelike cluster of mauve flowers.
- Often begins blooming in midwinter, continuing until hot weather begins in May.
- Often short-lived.
- Compact Bowles Mauve is about half the size.
- Lemon Zest grows 812 inches high and wide, with pale to lemon-yellow blooms in early spring.
- Moonlight has bright yellow owers that open from red buds.
- Sweet Sorbet has lilac-pink flowers on a 1418 inches plant.
- Wenlock Beauty grows 2 feet high and wide, with springtime flowers varying from buff to purple in a single spike.
- All these hybrids take moderate water.
- Short-lived perennial in Zones US, MS, and LS, often treated as an annual; USDA 6-8.
- Light green leaves form 6 inches mats from which rise scented, deep yellow owers on 2 inches stems in spring.
- Moderate water.
- Use in rock garden or with other small perennials between paving stones.
- If plants hump up, cut out central portions, transplant them, and press original plants at again.
- Divide clumps in fall.
erysimum linifolium 'Variegatum
- Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
- Shrubby growth to 2 feet high, 23 feet wide.
- Prized for its narrow, 312 inches-long leaves, which are gray-green and edged in creamy white.
- Mauve flowers about 12 inches across appear from spring to fall.
- Moderate water.
erysimum x marshallii(Erysimum x allionii)
- Perennial, often grown as biennial or annual.
- Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
- Branching plants 1112 feet high and somewhat wider are covered in spring with fragrant flowers in rich orange or yellow.
- In mild-winter climates, sow seeds in fall; elsewhere, sow in spring for well-established plants by fall.
- Full sun, moderate water.
- Golden Bedder has golden yellow flowers.