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Featured Conservation Plants: September 2015

September 2015:
Erysimum “Bowles’ Yellow”

Erysimum “Bowles’ Yellow” is much less well known than E. “Bowles Mauve” and is quite a different plant. The leaves are greener, darker and the whole plant is much more compact, growing to a height of approximately 30cm and spread up to 50cm. Clusters of tight dark red buds form in early spring then open to show their bright, pure golden-yellow flowers over a long period between February and August in a good season and if dead-headed regularly.

Like other short-lived perennials of its type this “wallflower” likes to grow in full sun and with good drainage, preferably on an alkaline soil although it is currently growing satisfactorily on slightly acid soil.

Propagate by cuttings from May to July in gritty compost or “Perlite” and keep cuttings in a frost-free place over winter before planting out the following spring.

May be susceptible to mollusc damage when first planted out and rabbits do find it tasty.

As a bright harbinger of spring and summer it is disappointing to see this lovely little wallflower rarely grown or offered for sale. There are only two suppliers listed in the RHS Plant Finder 2015 and this will be a new Introduction to the Scheme in October 2015.


The Conservation scheme involves HPS members in growing these plants and documenting the best way to grow and propagate them. The plants are distributed across the country with many local groups and individual growers being involved.

The scheme is open to all HPS members. More information about the scheme can be found here.

Since the present scheme started in 1998, we have been successful in conserving over 30 plant varieties that are, in our opinion, all worthy of being grown in British gardens. However, there are still a large number of potentially garden worthy plants in need of conservation.

If you are a interested in making this (or any other of our conservation plants) available on a commercial basis, please contact the National Coordinator.


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