Dame’s Rocket

Dame’s Rocket

Hesperis matronalis
Other names: dame’s rocket, damask violet, dame’s-violet, dames-wort, dame’s gilliflower, night-scented gilliflower, queen’s gilliflower, rogue’s gilliflower, summer lilac, sweet rocket, mother-of-the-evening and winter gilliflower.
Family: Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)
Range: Found through much of the US and Canada.  (It was brought to North America in the 17th century.)  Four states (Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Wisconsin) have some sort of invasive species status around it.
Native: Introduced
Native Habitat: Biennial or short lived perennial native to Europe.    Prefers full sun to partial shade in moist soils with good drainage. 
Bloom Time: Late Spring
Notes: 
Hesperis comes from the word for evening, and may have been given to the plant because the scent is more pronounced in the evening. 
The plant is an aggressive reseeder, so seems like more of a perennial than it really is.    It is used in gardening.     (It’s easily confused with tall garden phlox.)  
This is one of those plants that people can get very exercised about, invasive-wise, and it’s easy too see why, when it’s in bloom.     For a little while it seems to be everywhere.   (My pictures have it in the forest, in fields, and even on a rocky beach.)     Compounding the problem is that it’s been here so long, people think it’s a native, so it’s still planted in gardens, and even apparently found in wildflower mixes.    It’s a shame, because it’s a pretty plant, but it can definitely get everywhere.
Locations in Photos:
My neighborhood
Fort Foster, Kittery
Ellsworth, ME (near my father’s house)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s