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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Erysimum ‘Plant World Rainbows’: New from Plant World Seeds

Posted by Graham Rice on 18 Mar 2010 at 07:34 PM

Erysimum 'Plant World Rainbows',new,Plant World,Ray Brown. Image: ©Ray Brown/Plant WorldPerennial wallflowers are always popular especially ‘Bowles Mauve’ which combines a tight habit, good greyish foliage and almost year round flowering… But what happens when you cross ‘Bowles Mauve’ with other wallflowers? You get some real treats.

Ray Brown of Plant World in Devon tried it more than once. Now he’s done it again and is releasing some seed. Here’s what he says about ‘Plant World Rainbows’.

“Years ago I crossed erysimums including 'Bowles Mauve', E. linifolium and E. scoparius (from seeds I collected high in The Canary Islands) with the familiar dwarf wallflowers,” Ray told me by email. “Truth be told the bees did it! I tried but I’d never succeeded and so finally planted them all together in a tight patch. Let the bees get on with it and then simply harvested the seed. I was told that the receptivity of the flowers was measured in hours and only the bees knew when!!

“Many of these hybrids have been named (not just by me),” he continued, “and are now sold worldwide! We are now releasing a few more valuable, individually hand-collected seeds from these lovely hybrids (they only set a few seeds!).

“All habits from compact to leggy, and all colour combinations will appear so expect some surprises. The more compact ones give an absolutely stunning statement, often of bi-coloured flowers, in April, May and June before returning to their quite tidy overwintering state of a green dome!  The nicest ones are best re-propagated from cuttings every 3 or 4 years to perpetuate  their compact habit. They do best on a hot dry bank obviously.”

Need I say more? Only that as well as the colours in the picture expect primrose, orange and shades of purple.

You can order seed of Erysimum ‘Plant World Rainbows’ from Plant World Seeds.


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