wallflower


wallflower
/wawl"flow'euhr/, n.
1. a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance.
2. any person, organization, etc., that remains on or has been forced to the sidelines of any activity: The firm was a wallflower in this year's bidding for government contracts.
3. a European plant, Cheiranthus cheiri, of the mustard family, that, when growing wild on walls, cliffs, etc., has sweet-scented, usually yellow or orange flowers, but when cultivated has flowers varying in color from pale yellow to brown-red or purple.
4. any of several related plants of the genera Cheiranthus and Erysimum.
[1570-80; WALL + FLOWER]

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plant
 any of several plants belonging to the genera Cheiranthus and Erysimum of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), so named for their habit of growing from chinks in walls. Some golden- or brown-flowering species are widely cultivated. The European wallflower (C. cheiri), native to cliffsides and meadows of southern Europe, is naturalized in Great Britain. It is biennial to perennial, with erect, 70-cm (28-inch) stalks bearing spikelike, fragrant clusters of golden to brown, four-petaled flowers. The western wallflower (E. asperum), a 90-cm (35-inch) perennial found on prairies, sand hills, and open woods in central to western North America, produces fragrant, yellow to orange flowers borne on spikes that, like those of C. cheiri, eventually become quite long.

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Universalium. 2010.