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Plants Online - Wallflower

Plants for sale - Wallflower

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WALLFLOWER

Family CRUCIFERAE
Chieranthus cheiri
Biennial

A native of the sea cliffs, quarries and old walls of southern Europe, hence its common name.
One of the best loved of plants, the Wallflower is really a perennial, but usually treated as a biennial.
The plant is of bushy erect habit, one to two feet high, with fragrant flowers, about an inch across, yellow or brownish-yellow in the type, but varying from off-white to pink, terra-cotta, orange, scarlet and crimson in varieties of garden origin Chieranthus allionii, a native of North America, is called the Siberian Wallflower, and is Erysimum asperum to botanists.

Reaching a height of nine inches, its heads of bright orange flowers in late spring are welcome successors to the true Wallflower. There is also a pretty mauve-flowered form known as Chieranthus linifolius (syn. Erysimum linifolium).

Seed should be sown in the open in July and the seedlings planted in their permanent positions by October.

Propagation is from seed.

The flowering season is from March to May for Chieranthus cheiri and in May and June for Chieranthus allionii.

Wallflower
Hardy Perennial.
One to two feet.
Flowers of several colours, February to May.

Wallflowers are absolutely essential to any sort of spring gardening, both for their colour and smell, and more care should be given to their provision than is usually allowed.

The Wallflower is nominally a perennial, and sometimes plants will survive several seasons, and form large and handsome bushes; but for a dependable show of flowers every year and particularly where beds are filled with Wallflowers for spring blooming, it is essential that it should be treated as a biennial, and raised freshly every year.
Seed should be sown in drills half an inch deep, and six inches apart, not later than the middle of June.
The soil should be in nice friable condition, but need not be all that rich. If great heat and drought follow the sowing, shade the bed with mats.
The seedlings will appear in a few days; keep down weeds, and hoe between the drills. About the middle of July catch, if possible, a showery time, and plant out the seedlings on good, sound soil in an open position, using a trowel, and keeping as much soil on the root-fibres as is practicable.
In this bed the plants should be in rows a foot apart every way. Keep the ground clean and open until October, when the Wallflowers may be removed to their spring quarters, again getting up the roots with as little disturbance as possible.
At this last move the plants should be set quite close, touching each other all round.

A properly grown Wallflower plant at this stage ought to be compact and stout, from a foot to eighteen inches high and as much through; the three-inch specimens with about a dozen leaves which are often seen as spring bedding-stuff, are miserable impostors.
The reason why most biennials – such as Wallflowers, Canterbury Bells and Sweet Williams ought to be large and stout by planting time is that as a rule they spend all their energies, when the spring arrives, on preparations for flowering; the plant, whatever its size, starts towards blooming at once, and spends little more tissue in building up its stature.

All biennials should be given as long a season of growth as possible in the old year, and encouraged to build up big, strong frames for the next year’s display.

The soil for Wallflower beds should be clean and sound, but needs no manure; of course, where plants are grown in constant succession the ground must be refreshed; leaf-mould and wood-ashes are the best form of addition.
The plants may be put out in groups in mixed borders, in lines at the sides of paths, or in masses in any beds that are available.
For the latter, separate colours should be kept together.

The following are the best varieties:

Blood Red: Fine deep crimson.
Gold of Ophir, or Cloth of Gold: Large clear yellow.
Harbinger: Reddish brown.
Eastern Queen: Beautiful colour, variable between peach and reddish pink.
Primrose Dame, or Faerie Queene: Pale yellow.

These are all single-flowered.
The double varieties are quite different in character, having straight spikes of close-set rosettes much like a Ten-Week Stock.
The German or Rocket produces a solitary spike; the Dwarf Branching is more compact, with several spikes.
The colours comprise several shades of brown, pinkish purple, clear yellow and creamy white.

In all ordinary climates the Wallflower may be called quite hardy; but in severe winters of long-continued frost it may succumb.
Wallflowers are liable to a disease in the root allied to the “finger and toes” or “club root” of the Brassica tribe.
Plants affected generally droop and turn yellow; they should be pulled up at once and burnt.
Wallflowers will droop their leaves when in full health, on sunny and windy mornings after a frosty night; this symptom must, of course, be distinguished from the permanent sickliness of injured root-action.

A beautiful spring medley may be produced by planting the lighter coloured Wallflowers hap-hazardly with Forget-me-not, Silene pendula and Primroses.
A rough corner furnished in this way will sometimes put a man out of conceit with his more formal and ambitious designs.
In such a place a few of the strongest Wallflowers may be left for another season; but all others should be forked up and burnt directly they are out of flower, as the smell of stale Wallflowers is grievous.

The beds where they have stood must be thoroughly dug, manured and moistened before anything else is planted in them; nothing takes the goodness out of mould and dries it up so completely as Wallflower roots.

 

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