Western wallflower

Western wallflower – Erysimum capitatum

We’ve added a new species to our seed packet inventory!

Western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum) is a biennial to short lived perennial wildflower with knockout, four-petaled, bright yellow to deep orange flower clusters borne at the top of an erect stem that grows from a basal rosette. Western wallflower is in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family and grows throughout the United States, but mainly in the West. It is also referred to by the common name, Sanddune wallflower, due to its preference for well drained, rocky or sandy soil throughout its range.

Although it has a preference for well drained soil, it grows in a wide variety of habitat types, from sea level to high elevations, which leads to variability in appearance.

Western wallflower blooms in spring to early summer, depending on elevation. In bloom it will grow between 1-2′ tall. It has tubular, upright seed capsules that burst open and spread seed as they dry out.

Western wallflower is attractive to pollinating species such as bees and butterflies, and is a larval host plant for numerous butterflies, including Sara orangetips and others.

Western wallflower will grow best in part-shade to full sun, with well drained, rocky or sandy soil. It grows well in medium-dry garden conditions. It can grow as a single stemmed or multistemmed plant. If pinched when first bolting to flower, it can produce more flowering stems.

It is an especially prolific bloomer 2-3 years following wildfire. Wildfire not only helps trigger seed germination, but it also clears out vegetation and increases available nutrients in the soil, allowing for more sunlight and nutrients for larger, more robust plants.

Unlike humans that may be called “wallflowers” because they are shy or unassuming, Western wallflower can be quite showy. From our research, the use of the term “wallflower” for shy people comes from the European relatives of Western wallflower that have a propensity to grow out of cracks in walls or rocky paths. Western wallflower is anything but shy!

Seed Germination Instructions

No pre-treatement necessary. Sow seeds outside in fall to early spring.

Western wallflower grows in a wide variety of habitat types. From low-elevation river washes, canyons, oak woodland, and chaparral, to mid-elevation mixed conifer forests, to high elevation rocky ridges and subalpine meadows.

Western wallflower swaying in the breeze in the Siskiyou Mountains.
Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds
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