This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(derivation in dispute, but probably from Greek for hand and flower). Cruciferae. Flower-garden perennials, with large purple, brown, orange or yellow fragrant bloom.
Leaves alternate, entire, on a strict or upright stem: lateral sepals sac-like at the base: valves of the pod with a strong mid-nerve. Much confounded with Matthiola, and the genera are not sufficiently distinct. In Cheiranthus, the leaves are acute, hairs 2-parted and appressed, stigma more spreading, pod more flattened and seeds not thin-edged; and the flowers are prevailingly orange or yellow-Probably a score of species, in the Canary and Madeira Isls., Medit. region and E. and in N. Amer. The garden species are confused; a critical study may find that some of them belong to Erysimum or other genera. The genus hybridizes with Erysimum.
Fig. 901. Perennial, slightly pubescent, 1-2 1/2 ft.: lvs, lanceolate and entire, acute: flowers large, mostly in shades of yellow, in long, terminal racemes, sweet - scented. S. Eu. - An old garden favorite, blooming in spring. Although a woody perennial, it is best to renew the plants from seed, for they begin to fail after having bloomed one or two years. Seedlings should bloom the second year; in England, Christmas bloom is secured from seeds sown in Feb. There are dwarf and dou-ble-flowered varieties, and innumerable forms in various shades of yellow, brownish, and even purple. Not prized so much in Amer. as in Eu. A common plant on walls in England.
Fig. 901. Cheiranthus Cheiri. (X 1/2)
Linn. stem strict and simple, 1 ft.: leaves lanceolate, somewhat dentate, stellate-pubescent: pods spreading on short pedicels: flowers lemon-yellow, spring. Norway, Lapland.
L'Her. More or less woody, 2-3 ft.: leaves linear-lanceolate and pointed, obscurely serrate: flowers white, cream-colored or yellowish, becoming darker and striped. Madeira. B.M. 195. - It is doubtful whether the plant known in cult, as C. mutabilis is this species.
Marshallii, Hort. Perhaps a hybrid, 1-1 1/2 ft.: leaves spatulate and crowded below, more scattered and narrower above: flowers orange.
Allionii, Hort. Said to be a hybrid: 12 in. or less: flowers brilliant orange, profusely produced in spring and summer and sometimes so freely that the plant exhausts itself and becomes practically biennial.
Hort., is valuable as a winter-blooming greenhouse plant, prized for its fragrance and its dark-colored flowers In 1897 at Kew a cross was made between C. mutabilis of the Canary Isls. and a yellow wallflower, the cross being known as C. hybridus; and this in turn was crossed with a red wallflower, producing the plant known as C. kewensis. It has the bushy character of C. mutabilis; racemes upright; flowers about 1 in. across, brown in bud, or expanding brownish orange inside and reddish brown outside, all turning pale purple with age. Prop, by cuttings. G.C. III. 35:123. Gn. 65, p. 89.
C. annuus, Hort.=Matthiola, but early-blooming forma of C. Cheiri seem to pass under this name. - C. Memiesii, Benth. & Hook.=Parrya. L H B