Where did 'Bowles' Mauve' come from?

The origins of Erysimum 'Bowles' Mauve are a mystery. This is all the more perplexing as it must be the most widely grown of all erysimum cultivars. But I now have a theory .........


Look at the photo below. The plant to the right is an old specimen of erysimum mutabile - a species from the agean, known in English as 'The Changeable Wallflower', on account of the way the flower colour changes as the petals age. Two years ago I noticed a seedling underneath this plant, which I was very pleased about,  as I've never so far had self-sown E. mutabile in the garden. This year the new plant - the one in the centre of the photo - is flowering. As you can see, it is almost pure mauve (just with a hint of pink on the petals as they first open). So, was 'Bowles' Mauve' a mutated seed from E. mutabile, which was then propagated by cuttings?


By Simon Weeks on April 29th, 2013