‘Bowles’s Mauve’ perennial wallflower has long been a favourite – in spite of the fact that it can grow quite large and fall over, and is often infected with virus that creates streaks in the flowers.
But in recent years a number of plant breeders have been working on new perennial wallflowers, in a range of flower colours, that are colourful, compact, long flowering and virus-free.
‘Winter Party’ is the most widely available of the seven varieties in the Winter Series, all developed by the German plant breeder Kientzler. These are neat and compact evergreen shrubs reaching about 30cm x 40cm (1ft x 16in) with deep, bluish green foliage.
The tight spikes of flowers sit low above the leaves - not on long bare stems as in many older perennial wallflowers - and in ‘Winter Party’ the flowers open in a rich magenta and gradually mature through rusty orange to golden-yellow; a lovely harmonious combination. The first flowers open in late February or March (much earlier in favoured seasons and situations) and flowering continues until the end of May or beyond.
‘Winter Party’ is an ideal plant for containers, with dwarf tulips perhaps. It can also be planted in sunny, well-drained borders and if deadheaded after flowering should develop into a slightly more imposing plant and flower again prolifically the following season.
Look out for Erysimum ‘Winter Party’, and the six others in the Winter Series, at good garden centres
You can also order plants of Erysimum ‘Winter Party’ from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries
* Please note the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and are not necessarily those of the RHS