The Q&A Archives: Wallflower

Question: I am looking for seed for what I believe is a form of wallflower. I am used to the short orange form that my father plants in the fall for spring bloom, but one year I got a taller purple flower that came up from a bag of wildflower mix. I think it must be an annual or tender perennial because it didn't come back the second year. Can you help me find it? My local nursery man thinks I am nuts. Can I plant it this late and where can I find the seed?

Answer: Erysimum pulchellum is a short-growing Wallflower (about 1 foot tall), with deep orange blossoms. It's perennial, but some cultivars, like the purple variety you planted, are biennials. (They take two years to flower and then they die.) You can order seeds for the old-fashioned Prarie Rocket through Cyberseeds, P. O. Box 171102, San Antonio, TX 78217-1102.

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