Siberian Wallflower

Scientific Name: Erysimum x allionii cv. (syn. Cheiranthus x allionii and C. x marshallii)

Common Name: Siberian Wallflower

Description: Spring flowering biennial or short-lived perennial; showy, terminal clusters of bright orange-yellow flowers; deliciously fragrant

Size: Grows 18 to 24 inches high and 12 inches wide

Cultural Information: Prefers full sun and well-drained garden loam

USDA Zones: 4 through 9

Historical Notes: The ancient garden wallflower has been in cultivation for so long that its origin is uncertain. While serving as president, Thomas Jefferson sent his daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph a "bundle of Wallflowers,"[1] and he ordered wallflower seed from Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon in 1807.[2]

Wallflowers are divided into two genera, Cheiranthus and Erysimum, and there is much debate as to the differences between the two. The name Cheiranthus derives from the Latin for "hand flower," referring to this fragrant flower's use in nosegays and tussie mussies. Wallflowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

- Peggy Cornett, n.d.


Further Sources


  1. ^ Jefferson to Martha Jefferson Randolph, November 21, 1806, Pierpont Morgan Library. Transcription available at Founders Online.
  2. ^ Jefferson to McMahon, January 6, 1807, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress. Transcription available at Founders Online. See also Edwin M. Betts, Hazlehurst Bolton Perkins, and Peter J. Hatch, Thomas Jefferson's Flower Garden at Monticello, 3rd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1986), 56.