English Wallflower, Vulcan (Organic)
Erysimum cheiri. Perennial in zones 6-9.
Unique, 1 ½”, velvety crimson flowers start to bloom early in the spring from a mid-summer sowing the year before. Blooms in clusters that make a nice, sweet scented cut flower. The plants are somewhat dwarf, growing up to 2′ tall, and do well in partial or full sun. They prefer soils with good drainage. We have some growing under rhododendrons and the combination is delightful. This species has a long history as an ornamental in Europe and deserves to be more popular in North America. Thrives in our Pacific Northwest climate. In some areas English wallflowers are grown as biennials and are hardy down to -5°F.
Direct sow 1/8” deep early fall to overwinter plants for spring blooms. May also be spring sown. Thin plants to 10.” Germination in 5-7 days. If spring sown, flowers later in summer. Does well in full sun to part shade.
Collect seeds from seed heads that are fully dry. Thresh by hand, winnow to clean. Finish air-drying if necessary before sealing in airtight container. For pure seed, this insect-pollinated flower needs isolation from other varieties of the same species by 1⁄4 mile.