Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Erysimum Sp. - Wallflower

Family: Mustard - Brassicaceae [E-flora]

"Annual to subshrub [shrub]; hairs sessile, appressed, 2–5(8)-rayed. Leaf: basal rosetted, petioled, entire, dentate, or pinnately lobed; cauline sessile or petioled, bases not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated. Flower: sepals oblong to linear, erect, base of lateral pair sac-like or not; petals clawed, yellow or orange (white, purple, or brown). Fruit: silique, dehiscent, linear, cylindric, 4-sided, or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, unsegmented; stigma entire or 2-lobed. Seed: 15–100, in 1 or 2 rows, plump or flattened, oblong, winged or not.
± 150 species: North America, Eurasia, northern Africa. (Greek: to help or save, from alleged medicinal properties of some species) [Rossbach 1958 Madroño 14:261–267] Fls, fruit, basal leaves needed for identification. All native California taxa related to Erysimum capitatum; hybridization blurs limits of some species.
Unabridged references: [Rollins 1993 Cruciferae of continental North America. Stanford Univ Press.]" [Jepson]

Local Species

  1. Erysimum arenicola - Sand-dwelling wallflower [E-flora]
  2. Erysimum asperum - Prairie rocket [E-flora]
  3. Erysimum capitatum - Western wallflower [E-flora]
  4. Erysimum cheiranthoides - Wormseed mustard [E-flora]
  5. Erysimum cheiri - Common wallflower [E-flora]
  6. Erysimum coarctatum - small-flower prairie wallflower [E-flora]
  7. Erysimum inconspicuum - small wallflower [E-flora]
  8. Erysimum pallasii - Pallas' wallflower [E-flora]


Erysimum spp. (E .cheiranthoides L.) Sibertian wallflower, treacle mustard - Principle Cardenolides; Helveticoside. [TNS]

"Feeny (1976) then went on to highlight cardenolides in milkweeds and the crucifer genera Erysimum and Cheiranthus as characteristic toxic, qualitative defenses of unapparent plants. Rhoades and Cates (1976) also used cardenolides as one example of the many plant toxins included by Feeny as qualitative de­ fenses. However, by the time that "apparency" theory had evolved into "resource availability" theory (Coley et al, 1985), cardenolides had be­ come ignored in the general scheme of understanding plant-herbivore interactions. Reasons for the demise of cardenolides as an exemplar of chemically mediated herbivory may have much to do with the questions raised by Jermy (1984). It is simply very difficult to show whether her­ bivores do influence plant fitness and even harder to demonstrate that a particular secondary chemical mediates any observed effect." [Rosenthal HerbV1]

"Cheiroline. In 1898 Reeb obtained from wallflower leaves and seeds two substances, cheiranthin and cheirinine. The former was described as a glucoside, having a digitalis-like action.... Cheiroline appears to exist in wallflower seed as a glucoside. It has also been obtained from the seeds of Erysimum aureum4 and E. arkansanum,3 whilst Schneider and Kaufmann have obtained from Erysimum perowskianum,6 erysoline,..." [TPA Henry]


"Erysimum sp. BRASSICACEAE. Mustard family. ...‘long small leaf’...., in allusion to the long slender leaf of the plant. The plant is cut close to the root and deposited in the large serrated bowl of the flutists of Pa´yatamu (god of music, butterflies, and flowers) at the drama of “The Coming of the Corn Maidens.”l A crystal, supposed to have been brought from the undermost world, is laid in the center of the plant. Water is then put into the bowl and sprinkled with corn pollen. The flutes of Pa´yatamu are laid across the bowl and the whole is covered with an embroidered white cotton kilt. A shell to be used for administering the water is placed on the kilt. When the water is given to the flutists by the director of the order of Pa’yatamu, they eject it into their hands and rub it over their bodies, “that their hearts may be as beautiful as the flowers and butterflies of Pa’yatamu; that the rains may come to make the corn and all vegetation grow.“2
When used ceremonially, this plant belongs only to the order of Pa´yatamu." [Stevenson Zuni]

Medicinal Use

"Erysimum sp. BRASSICACEÆ. Mustard family. Ha´sikahlto´we. The entire plant is ground and mixed with a small quantity of water, and the infusion is applied to the forehead and temples to relieve headache caused by exposure to heat. This medicine is also rubbed over the exposed parts of the body to prevent sunburn, and the top of the head is often bathed with it before one goes into the sun.2" [Stevenson Zuni]

"Wallflower (Erysimum) "Interesting Facts: Wallflowers were once used as a poultice. Erysio means to draw out, as in drawing out pain or causing blisters. Additionally, an infusion of dried, pulverized E. capitatum was rubbed on the head and face to prevent sunburn or to alleviate heat exposure. A pneumonia victim was cured by having his back massaged with chewed wallflower root (Strike 1994)." [Seiger PSM]

Uses of Other Erysimum Sp.

Erysimum amurense Kitag. var. bungei (Kitag.) Kitag. E. cheiranthoides L. - "(Root, leaf, shoot) Erysimoside, erysimosol, erucic acid, canescein, erychroside, helveticosol, erythriside, corchoroside A, erysimotoxin.35,48" - "Treat cold and cold-related infections, sore throat, dizziness." [CRNAH]

Erysimum amurense Kitag. var. bungei (Kitag.) Kitag. E. cheiranthoides L. - "Erysimoside, erysimosol, erucic acid, canescein, erychroside, helveticosol, erythriside, corchoroside A, erysimotoxin.35,48" - "Treat cold and cold-related infections, sore throat, dizziness." [CRNAH]


Erysimum aureum Bieb. Seed Oil, % on dry wt: 26.28 [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum crepedifolium Reichb. Seed Oil, % on dry wt: 18.0–27.89 [1, 2] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum cuspidatum (Bieb.) DC.
Mass of 1,000, g: 0.3 [1]
Oil, % on dry wt: 33.0 [1, 2]
Content, %: 0.88 [2]
Composition of sterols, % [2]: b-Sitosterol – 67.7; campesterol – 32.3 [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum diffusum - Grey wallflower

Habitat/Range: "The plant is indigenous to the Commonwealth of Independent States and Hungary." [PDR]

"Synonyms: Erysimum canescens Roth., Erysimum andrzejowskianum DC."
"English name: Diffuse wallflower"
"Phenology: Flowers in June, fruits in July."
"Reproduction: By seeds."
"Distribution: All provinces of Kyrgyzstan; Toshkent, Namangan and Farg’ona provinces of Uzbekistan."
"Habitat: On steppes and dry stony exposures."
"Population status: Common, found as single plants." [Eisenman MPCA]


"The drug was used in the past for cardiac insufficiency (NYHA I and II), but can no longer be recommended." [PDR] "Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Gray Wallflower) — Not covered (AHP). “Health hazards not known with proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2)." [HMH Duke]

"Although poisonings among humans are both unknown and unlikely, due to the difficulties accompanying resorption of the glycosides, the possibility of a poisoning resulting from either high dosages of the drug or its glycosides through peroral administration is not to be completely ruled out." [PDR]

Medicinal Use

"Traditional use: In Kyrgyzstan, an infusion of the herb is used as a diuretic, sedative and anti-depressant, and to treat heart problems. It is said to be one of the best treatments for edema (Altimishev 1991). In the folk medicine of Tajikistan, the aboveground parts are used to make a tea used as a diuretic and laxative, and to treat heart weakness, tachycardia, and hypertension (Khodzhimatov 1989)."
"Documented effects: The preparations Erysimine, Erysimoside, Coreside, liquid extracts, and Cardiovalen (a complex preparation) are used to treat mitral failure, hypertension, and arteriosclerotic cardiosclerosis (Khalmatov et al. 1984)." [Eisenman MPCA]

Medicinal Parts: "The medicinal part is the plant's radish." [PDR]
Production: "The gray-leaved wild radish is collected during the flowering season of the two-year-old plants of Erysimum diffusum and dried after harvesting at a maximum temperature of 40o C." [PDR]
"Activities (Gray Wallflower) — Negative Chronotropic (1; PH2); Positive Inotropic (1; PH2)." [HMH Duke]
"Indications (Gray Wallflower) — Cardiopathy (f; HHB; PH2)." [HMH Duke]
Dose "Dosages (Gray Wallflower) — Single dose, 3.3 mg, cardioactive glycosides; maximum daily dose, 6.6 mg (HHB)." [HMH Duke]


Erysimum diffusum Ehrh.
Oil, % on dry wt: 22.1–40.21 [1–4, 6]
Content, %: 0.11 [2]
Component of sterols: b-Sitosterol [2] [LLCEOPS]

"Cardioactive steroid glycosides (cardenolids, 1 to 3%): chief component erysimoside (primary glycoside, aglycone k-stro- phanthidin, 0.6%)
Helveticoside {secondary glycoside)
Erycanoside" [PDR]

"All plant parts contain cardiac glycosides. The greatest quantity is found in flowers and seeds (2–6 %). More than 10 cardiac glycosides have been isolated, including erysimine, erysimoside, and others. Seeds contains up to 30–40 % fatty oil (Kurmukov 1956; Tadzhibaev et al. 1977; Khalmatov et al. 1984)." [Eisenman MPCA]

"The drug contains cardioactive glycosides of the cardenolide type with k-strophantidin as the aglycone. It is accordingly positively inotropic and negatively chronotropic in its effect." [PDR]

Erysimum gypsaceum Botsch. et Vved.
Seed Oil, % on dry wt: 34.41 [1–4] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum helveticum (Jacq.) DC.
Seed Oil, % on dry wt: 28.12–29 [1, 2] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum hieracifolium L.
Oil, % on dry wt: 27–38.7 [1–5]
Components: b-Sitosterol, campesterol, cholesterol [1] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum linifolium Gay
Mass of 1,000, g: 0.6 [1]
Oil, % on dry wt: 29 [1] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum marshallianum Andrz. ex Bieb.
Composition (GLC, 3% OV-17), %: Cholesterol – 8.8; D7-cholesten-3b-ol – tr; campesterol (24-methylcholesterol) – 28.1; 4a-methyl-D7-cholesten-3b-ol – tr; b-sitosterol (24-ethylcholesterol) – 53.1; D5-avenasterol – 10.0 [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum odoratum Ehrh.
Oil, % on dry wt: 30.0–30.69 [1–3]; 13 [4] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum orientale Mill.
FAs (GLC), %: 16:0 – 2.1; 18:0 – 0.4; 18:1 – 6.3; 18:2 – 24.5; 18:3 – 2.3; 20:1 – 21.5; 22:1 – 31.4; others – 11.5 [1] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum perovskianum Fisch. et Mey.
Essential oil
Content, %: 0.05 [1]
Composition: Erizolin C6H11O2NS [1]
Mass of 1,000, g: 1.9 [2]
Oil, % on dry wt: 28.72–35.0 [2–5]
Composition (GLC, 3% OV-17), %: Cholesterol – 9.2; campesterol (24-methylcholesterol) – 26.5; b-sitosterol (24-ethylcholesterol) – 52.8; D5-avenasterol – 11.5 [7]
Activity: The oil has moderate antiseptic activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and phytopathogenic fungi [8]. [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum pulchellum (Willd.) J. Gay
Oil, % on dry wt: 29.56 [1, 2] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum repandum L.
Mass of 1,000, g: 0.3 [1]
Oil, % on dry wt: 20.1–40.0 [1–3] [LLCEOPS]

"Erysimum repandum L. (Brassicaceae). spreading wallflower. In Iran, smoke from burning fruits was considered useful for treating eye ailments (Hooper and Field 1937)." [UAPDS]

Erysimum silvestre (Crantz) Scop.
Mass of 1,000, g: 0.7 [2]
Oil, % on dry wt: 30.0–30.04 [1, 2] [LLCEOPS]

Erysimum suffruticosum Spreng.
Oil, % on dry wt: 36.75 [1]; 13.84 [2] [LLCEOPS]

"Erysimum repandum Linnaeus, Treacle Mustard, Bushy Wallflower. Cp (NC, VA), Pd (NC, VA), Mt (NC, VA, WV): disturbed areas; uncommon, native of Eurasia. April-May; May-July. [= RAB, C, F, FNA, G, K, WV, Y, Z; = Cheirinia repanda (Linnaeus) Link – S]" [Weakley FSMAS]

"Erysimum repandum L. (Brassicaceae). spreading wallflower. In Iran, smoke from burning fruits was considered useful for treating eye ailments (Hooper and Field 1937)." [UAPDS]

"Convallatoxin (from Convallaria majalis) and Helveticosol (from Erysimum canescens) are composed of the aglycone strophanthidin K and the sugar residues rhamnose and digitoxose, respectively. The short-acting acetylstrophanthidin, which is of only experimental value, is strophanthidin K with the acetyl group at C3." [CG PCP]

Erysimum canescens Roth. contains the cardiac glycoside Erysimin (Rus. P.) [CG PCP]

"Several compounds responsible for acceptance of suitable host plants and for rejection of unsuitable plants by adults and larvae of P. rapae have now been identified. For example, wormseed mustard, Erysimum cheiranthoides, is protected from attack by several specific cardenolides.13 However, the most effective oviposition deterrents are not the same as the most effective feeding deterrents. The best oviposition deterrents are strophanthidin glyco- sides, whereas the strongest feeding deterrents are glycosides of digitoxigenin.14,15 When extracts of E. cheiranthoides are subjected to solvent partitioning to remove the deterrents, aqueous extracts actually become stimulatory to ovipositing females of P. rapae.16 This has served to demonstrate the fact that plants may contain both stimulants and deterrents and that the balance of these positive and negative chemical messages determines whether a plant is accepted or rejected.17 This balance is likely to be influenced by the physiological state of an individual insect, perception of the compounds, and processing of the informa- tion that reaches the central nervous system". [Cutler BANPA]

Effects of herbivory: "Erysimum mediohispanicum (Cruciferae) is a monocarpic herb found in many montane regions of SE Spain from 1000 to 2000 m a.s.l. Plants usually grow for 2–3 years as vegetative rosettes, then die after producing one (up to eight) reproductive stalk, which can display between a few and several hundred hermaphroditic, slightly protandrous bright yellow. At the SE Spain, reproductive individuals are fed by many different species of herbivores. Several species of sap-suckers (outstanding the bugs Corimeris denticulatus, Eurydema fieberi, and Eurydema ornata, Pentatomidae) feed on the reproductive stalks, both during flowering and fruiting. In addition, stalks are bored into by a weevil species (Melanobaris erysimi erysimoides), which consume the inner tissues, whereas another weevil species (Ceutorhynchus chlorophanus, both Curculionidae) develops inside the fruits, living on developing seeds. Some floral buds do not open because they are galled by flies (Dasineura sp., Cecidomyiidae). However, the main herbivores in the study zones are domestic (sheep) and wild ungulates (Spanish ibex Capra pyrenaica, Bovidae). Postdispersed seeds of both species are consumed by woodmice (Apodemus sylvaticus, Muridae), several species of birds (Fringilla coelebs, Serinus serinus, Carduelis cannabina [Frigillidae], among others), several species of medium-sized granivorous beetles (Iberozabrus sp. [Carabidae], among others) and ants (Lasius niger, Tetramorium caespitum and probably Cataglyphis velox and Leptothorax tristis, Formicidae).
Ungulates damage exclusively the inflorescences and infructescences of the plants, cutting them and consuming the flowers=fruits plus the stalks. Damage to plants occurred before they had dispersed the seeds, increasing the potential detrimental effect of herbivory. Indeed, ungulates heavily affect many components of Erysimum perfomance, such as fecundity, seed survival to postdispersal seed predation, seedling emergence, and survival. Consequently, ungulates had a significant detrimental effect on the population dynamics of Erysimum mediohispanicum (Go´mez 2005a)." [Pugnaire FPE]


Erysimum arenicola - Sand-dwelling wallflower

Subtaxa Present in B.C.

Erysimum arenicola var. torulosum [E-flora]

General: "Perennial herb from a taproot; simple or several-stemmed, 10-25 (50) cm tall, sparsely grey-hairy; stem-base often covered with old persistent leaf bases." [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat/Range: "Moist to mesic rocky slopes or talus slopes in the alpine zone; infrequent in SW BC, known only from Vancouver Island; S to OR." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Native [E-flora]


Erysimum arenicola var. arenicola [E-flora]
Erysimum arenicola var. torulosum (Piper) C.L. Hitchc. [E-flora]
Erysimum torulosum Piper [E-flora]


Erysimum asperum - Prairie rocket

General: "Biennial herb from a simple or sometimes branched stem-base; stems erect, stout, 5-45 cm tall, simple or branched above, ash grey with a close hairiness." [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat/Range: "Dry roadsides and rocky slopes in the montane zone; rare in SE BC; E to S MB and S to KS, MN, NM and N CA." [IFBC-E-flora]


Erysimum capitatum - Western wallflower

Subtaxa Present in B.C.

Erysimum capitatum var. purshii [E-flora]

Status: Native [E-flora]

"Erysimum capitatum is extremely variable, especially with respect to stature, size and form of the leaves, and corolla color. A further complication in our region is the pres- ence, at high elevations in the Cascades, of perennial plants with yellow corollas and fruits that are flattened but also alternately thickened and constricted; these have sometimes been called E. perenne or E. capitatum var. perenne." [Kozloff PWO]

"Erysimum capitatum (Douglas ex Hooker) E.L. Greene var. capitatum, Western Wallflower. Mt (VA, WV): shale barrens and shale woodlands of Alleghany and Bath counties, VA, and Grant and Pendleton counties, WV; rare. April-July; June- August. Rollins (1993) interprets E. capitatum as including five varieties, all but the typic restricted to the Great Plains and west. Though most floras (including C, F, and G) give the impression that Erysimum is not native east of IL, MO, and AR ("rarely adventive farther east along railroads"), this taxon is native and relictual in w. VA, e. WV (Grant and Pendleton counties), as well as in ec. TN (Chester, Wofford, & Kral 1997). [= FNA, K, Z; = E. asperum var. asperum – C, misapplied; E. arkansanum Nuttall – F; E. asperum – G, misapplied; Cheirinia aspera (Nuttall) Britton – S, misapplied; = Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum – Y]" [Weakley FSMAS]


Erysimum cheiranthoides - Wormseed mustard

Habitat / Range
Moist to mesic roadsides, fields and waste places in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC except the Queen Charlotte Islands and adjacent coast; circumboreal, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NC, MI, UT and CA; Eurasia, native status uncertain.

"Erysimum cheiranthoides Linnaeus, Wormseed Mustard. Pd (DE, VA), Mt (NC, VA, WV), Cp (VA): disturbed areas; uncommon (rare in DE), native of Eurasia. June-July; July-August. [= RAB, C, F, FNA, G, K, W, WV, Y, Z; = Cheirinia cheiranthoides (Linnaeus) Link – S]" [Weakley FSMAS]

Origin Status: Native

Erysimum cheiranthoides is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

General: Annual or biennial herb from a taproot; stems simple or branched, leafy, 0.2-1.0 m tall, sparsely hairy with 2-pronged hairs.
Leaves: Basal leaves lacking; stem leaves linear to lanceolate or oblanceolate, entire or minutely toothed, 2-8 cm long, 2-18 mm wide, finely hairy with 3-pronged hairs.
Flowers: Racemes bractless; flower stalks 4-15 mm long, spreading or spreading-ascending; petals pale yellow, 3.5-5 mm long; sepals yellowish or greenish, 2-3 mm long.
Fruits: Siliques, ascending to erect, 1.5-2 (3) cm long, about 1 mm wide, round in cross section, finely appressed-hairy; beaks 0.5-1 mm long; seeds 1-1.2 mm long, wingless.

Medicinal Use

Erysimum cheiranthoides L. - Traditional use - Skin infections/slow healing wounds [Ramzan PESR]


A drink made from the crushed seed is used as a vermifuge[207]. It is intensely bitter but has been used on children and expels the worms both by vomit and by excretion[4, 207]. .


A decoction of the root has been applied to skin eruptions[257]. .

"Erysimum cheiranthoides Linnaeus treacle mustard Europe, north Asia, North Africa; introduced into North America, New Zealand Under the name ‘English wormseed’ in the seventeenth century, Erysimum cheiranthoides was still ‘much used by the country people where it groweth to kill the wormes in children, the seede being a little bruised and given in drinke or any other way.’122 Rather over a century later, William Withering made an assertion to the same effect, though possibly just repeating the statement of that predecessor.123 Curiously, though, no more recent records of this plant’s use in folk medicine have been discovered." [MPFT]


Antifeedant: "Cardiac glycosides were isolated and identified from one such avoided crucifer host, Erysimum cherianthoides (Gupta et al., 1990). Erysimoside and erychroside were strongly deterrent, but erycordin was inactive. Both of the active glycosides have the same aglycone, strophanthidin; structural requirements for ovipo­sition deterrence include the strophanthidin nucleus, and a 2,6-dideoxy sugar with additional substituents." [Rosenthal HerbV2]

"When cabbage plants were sprayed with a butanol extract of Erysimum cheiranthoides, a wild crucifer normally rejected by ovipositing Pieris rapae because of the presence of cardenolides in the foliage, oviposition by gravid females was greatly reduced (Dimock and Renwick, 1991). This in- sect does not oviposit on many other species of crucifers. These results confirm that a combination of attractant and deterrent effects are involved in oviposition behavior. Repel- lent compounds may include cardenolides, alkaloids, and cucurbitacins (Renwick, 1988)." [Seiger PSM]


"Erysimum cheiranthoides L. is a one-year or two-year herb belonging to Erysimum Genus, Cruciferae Family, distributed over the areas of China (except South China), the east of Mongolia, Korea, the center of Asia, Russia (the far east areas of Russia ), some European countries and North America. As a folk drug in China, it is used mainly for diseases of cardiac failure, cardio palmus, edema, dyspepsia, etc. [ 1]. Our co-workers have reported that the EtOH ext. of E. cheiranthoides L. has the functions of strengthening the heart function and reducing the blood pressure [2]. Clinical observations indicate that the injection made from the herb without root has the functions of strengthening the heart function, slowing down the heart rate and reducing the blood pressure [3]." [Yang APG]

"In the studies of its chemical components, Russian scientists Makarevich et al had isolated 9 cardenolides from the same herb growing in Russia [4]. Not long ago, we had isolated 5 cardenolides from the seeds of the plant, three of which were new compounds and were named Cheiranthoide I, II and III [5]. In this paper we are reporting another two new compounds isolated recently from the seeds of E.cheiranthoides, named cheiranthosides i and e, respectively." [Yang APG]

"Erysimum cheiranthoides L is a two-year herb belonging to Erysimum genus, Cruciterae Family, mainly distributed over the areas of Northeast, China, Cardiac glycosides have been studied deeply, but we have not seen the study's report about flavone ingredient so far. When studied the cardiac glycoside, we found rich yield of Flavones in this plant, in yields of total flavones of 0.52%. On order to develop rich in natural resources, we utilize fully these chemical compositions . Flavones compounds have been extracted and isolated from the seed of E. cheiranthoides and then MeOH extract was chromatographed on silica gel and Polyclar column. We have obtained five flavone monomers. After idetificated by the chemical methods and spectral means of FAB-MS, ~H-NMR, ~aC-NMR, 1R, UV, the structure of five flavones is identified respectively, Kaemperol-3-O-rutinose(Nicotiflorin), Quercetin-3-O-rutinose(rutin), Quercetin-3-O-arabinose (Guaijaverin), Isorhamnetin-3-O-arabinose (Distichin), Quercetin. These compounds have been found first in E. cheiranthoides." [Yang APG]

Erysimum cheiranthoides L. Oil, % on dry wt: 21–43.0 [1–9] [LLCEOPS]

"Also oat suppressed the growth of Erysimum cheiranthoides in both laboratory and field tests due at least in part, to an allelopathic mechanism (Markova 1972)." [Chemma Alleleopathy]

Erysimum cheiranthoides Linnaeus treacle mustard Europe, north Asia, North Africa; introduced into North America, New Zealand Under the name ‘English wormseed’ in the seventeenth century, Erysimum cheiranthoides was still ‘much used by the country people where it groweth to kill the wormes in children, the seede being a little bruised and given in drinke or any other way.’122 Rather over a century later, William Withering made an assertion to the same effect, though possibly just repeating the statement of that predecessor.123 Curiously, though, no more recent records of this plant’s use in folk medicine have been discovered.[MPFT]

Requires a well-drained soil and a sunny position[200]. Dislikes acid soils[200]. Tolerates poor soils[200].

Seed - sow in situ in the spring[200]. Germination should take place within 3 weeks.

Cheirinia cheiranthoides (L.) Link
Erysimum cheiranthoides subsp. altum Ahti
Erysimum cheiranthoides subsp. cheiranthoides


Erysimum cheiri - Common wallflower

General: "Perennial herb from slender taproot; stems erect or ascending, much branched, angled, leafy, 15-80 cm tall, hairy with appressed, branched hairs." [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat/Range: "Mesic to dry rock outcrops and waste places in the lowland zone; infrequent garden escape on SE Vancouver Island; introduced from Europe." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Exotic [E-flora]

Cheiranthus cheiri L. [E-flora]

"WALLFLOWER (Erysimum cheiri (L.) Crantz) X Synonym: Cheiranthus cheiri L. Activities (Wallflower) — Analgesic (f; HHB); Antibacterial (1; WO2); Antiseptic (1; WO2); Antispasmodic (f; HHB; WO2); Antitumor (1; WO2); Cardiotonic (f; EFS; HHB); Cardiotoxic (1; EFS; HHB); Deobstruent (f; EFS); Depurative (f; EFS); Digitalic (1; PH2); Emmenagogue (f; EFS; PH2); Expectorant (f; WO2); Laxative (1; PH2; WO2); Myotonic (1; PH2); Peristaltic (f; PH2); Stimulant (f; WO2); Stomachic (f; WO2); Tonic (f; EFS); Toxic (f; EFS). Indications (Wallflower) — Arthrosis (f; JLH); Asthma (f; WO2); Bacteria (1; WO2); Bronchosis (f; WO2); Cancer (1; JLH; WO2); Cancer, joint (1; JLH); Cancer, sinew (1; JLH); Cancer, uterus (1; JLH); Cardiopathy (f; HHB); Constipation (1; PH2; WO2); Cramp (f; HHB; WO2); Dysmenorrhea (f; HHB); Gout (f; HHB); Hepatosis (f; HHB; WO2); Induration (f; JLH); Inflammation (f; JLH); Pain (f; HHB; PH2); Sclerosis (f; JLH); Toothache (f; PH2); Tumor (1; WO2); Uterosis (f; HHB). Dosages (Wallflower) — 2–3 g flower/100 ml water for tea, take 3–4 cups a day (PH2). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Wallflower) — Not covered (AHP; KOM). None at proper dosage (PH2). Digitalic poisoning in serious overdoses. Cheiroside-A and cheirotoxin are cardioactive and digitalic (HHB)." [HMH Duke]

"Wallflowers symbolize happiness and affection, especially the devotion that survives over time and adversity. They are nicknamed the faithful flower and were carried by traveling troubadours to remind them of loved ones at home. Like other clove-scented plants, wallflowers contain the compound eugenol, which produces a happiness response and reduces stress by moderating neurotransmitters in the brain. Research at the Indian Institute of Technology, at Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, showed that clove’s aroma lessened mental fatigue and nervousness. According to China’s Shaanxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the scent seems to improve a poor memory. Most people find the smell of cloves very pleasant, although they appeal to women more than men. The nerve and muscle oil made from wallflowers has a pleasing, relaxing scent. An essential oil has been produced from wallflowers, but is so rare and expensive that it is only found in upscale perfumes." [Keville AG]

"This native of Turkey and the Mediterranean region likes well-drained, dry, alkaline soil that is not overly rich. If conditions are right, the flowers bloom so prolifically in the second and/or third year that the plants exhaust themselves after a few years and need to be replaced." [Keville AG]

"Wallflower Erysimum cheiri (syn. Cheiranthus cheiri) Brassicaceae There are about eighty Erysimum species in Europe, western Asia, and North America. The common bedding wallflower Erysimum cheiri is by far the most important in gardens, and has been cultivated since the 16th century or earlier. Native to southern Europe, this short-lived sub-shrub has a heavy and very rich perfume that was much appreciated by the Victorians." [Prance TCHP]

"One piece of modern folklore concerns its use as a companion plant – they say that planting wallflowers near an apple tree encourages the latter’s fruiting (Baker. 1980)." [DPL Watts]

"There are some medicinal uses: traditionally, they were used as a purgative, and for liver disorders (Schauenberg & Paris). In Somerset, they used to say you should eat plenty of wallflower buds in salads and jams, for apoplexy (Tongue. 1965), and that harks straight back to Parkinson, who recommended “… a conserve made of the flowers … for the Apoplexie and Palsie”. They were popular for fevers, too – see Gerard: “The leaves stamped with a little bay salt, and bound about the wrists of the hands, take away the shaking fits of the ague”. Later, Wesley’s prescription was substantially the same, except that he wanted the medicine to be applied “to the Suture of the Head”. Irish practitioners used the flowers steeped in oil as an anodyne, and in infusion (one ounce to one pint of water) for nervous troubles (Moloney)." [DPL Watts]


Erysimum coarctatum - small-flower prairie wallflower

Status: native [E-flora]

Erysimum inconspicuum var. coarctatum (Fernald) G.B. Rossbach [E-flora]


Erysimum inconspicuum - small wallflower

General: "Biennial or short-lived perennial herb from a short taproot and a usually unbranched stem-base; stems erect, 0.2-1.0 m tall, simple or branched, hairy throughout with appressed 2-pronged hairs." [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat/Range: "Dry open sites in the steppe and montane zones; infrequent throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, YT and NT, E to PQ and S to KS, NC, VT, NM and CA." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Native [E-flora]


Erysimum pallasii - Pallas' wallflower

General: "Perennial or biennial herb from taproot and branched or unbranched stem-base; stems simple, 3-35 cm tall, hairy." [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat/Range: "Dry talus slopes in the alpine zone; rare in NW BC, known only from Mt. Edziza; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Native [E-flora]


Page last modified on May 11, 2024