Erysimum cheiri
Common Name: wallflower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Brassicaceae
Native Range: Southern Europe
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: Yellow to orange-yellow to brown
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Best in full sun in cool northern climates, but appreciates some part shade in the heat of the day in hot southern climates. This flower is a biennial, so self-seeding will be necessary for it to remain in the garden. Sow seed in spring for bloom the following year. Plants may bloom as annuals if seed is planted early enough in spring. Cut back spent flowering stems only after seed has been harvested or has ripened and fallen to the ground.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Erysimum cheiri, commonly known as common wallflower, is a woody-based herbaceous perennial subshrub in the mustard family that is typically cultivated as a biennial. It is noted for producing clusters (racemes) of fragrant 4-petaled flowers in a showy spring bloom followed by narrow pendant dehiscent seed pods (siliques). It typically grows to 6-24” (occasionally to 30”) tall. Flowers (each to 3/4” wide) are mostly bright yellow or yellow-orange to brown, but sometimes appear reddish purple to burgundy. Bright green leaves (to 2-8” long by 3/4” wide) are narrow and pointed. Common wallflower is native to southern Europe, but has been introduced in North America where it has naturalized in British Columbia, Washington and California. Popular garden plant in Europe.

This plant loves sharp soil drainage as exemplified by its ability to grow in little pockets of gritty soil on stone walls as suggested by its common name of wallflower.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Cheiranthus cheiri.

Genus name comes from the Greek word eryomai meaning blistercress.

Specific epithet comes from the Greek word cheir meaning hand in reference to an old custom dating back to the Middle Ages where wall flowers were carried in small bouquets by hand to festivals or other events.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Rock gardens. Border fronts. Raised beds. Along paths.