Evergreen perennial growing to 18 in (45 cm). Has lance-shaped leaves and yellow-orange flowers appearing in spring.
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to southern Europe, wallflower is now found throughout the continent. It grows on cliffs and old walls, and is a common garden plant.
The herb contains cheiranthin and other cardioactive glycosides.
History & Folklore
In 1735, the Irish herbalist K’Eogh described wallflower thus: “It provokes urination and menstruation and expels a stillborn child, and the afterbirth if a decoction of the dried flowers or a little seed is drunk in wine.”
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Although wallflower was formerly used as a diuretic, there was no understanding of its powerful effect on the heart. In small doses it is cardiotonic, supporting a failing heart in a manner similar to foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). In more than small doses it is toxic, and is therefore rarely used in herbal medicine.
Use only under professional supervision. Do not take during pregnancy.