Worry is like a rocking chair, it's gives you something to do but gets you nowhere!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hesperis matronalis--Dame's Rocket, Friend or Foe?

Dame's Rocket, Sweet Rocket--Hesperis matronalis
Some of what I have learned:
It is planted as an ornamental although it escapes quickly by it's prolific seed set. Some of it's success is due to it's seeds in "Wildflower" mixes. Studies on Dame's Rocket are not extensive and is not widely recognized as an invasive. Effects of Dame's Rocket are not known, it could compete with native species.
Prohibited in Massachusetts...banned in Connecticut...invasive in Michigan...invades wild areas everywhere but the deep south.
It is NOT to be confused with Phlox paniculata...Phlox has 5 petals as pictured below.

The are very similar aren't they?

Where as Dame's Rocket has 4 petals as pictured below. This one plant grew out of a wildflower mix last year, in a container. I saved the seeds and now have seedlings up in the greenhouse. I really like this flower.

My question to you : What do you know of Hesperis matronalis--Dame's Rocket in your area, friend or foe?


Today I am Thankful for the sunshine outside my window!


tina said...

I know I wish it would take up residence in my garden-and stay around! It has not done well here and I tell you I simply love the pretty color in the spring. It might need more sun. Not sure. Will keep trying though til I get it right.

FlowerLady said...

Darla ~ I don't have a clue, but like Tina I'd love it to find its way to my gardens. Maybe it would be too hot and humid down here. It really is pretty. I'm getting ready to mix up all the seeds I've got that aren't getting any fresher and I'm going to fling/scatter them and see what happens. They're just taking up space inside, when they might give me some color and beauty outside.

Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

It is a biennial here. I've had it enough years that some bloom every year. I let it self seed pulling out plants that come up where I don't want them--their wide leaf stance can crowd out other plants a bit. If I want it to grow in a new area, I just cut down the stalks when the seeds dry and lay them in the place I want some to sprout. I've seen them scattered along creeks in fields in the spring and think it is so pretty. A lot of people I know call them wild lilacs. I've tried cutting them to bring in as bouquets but they don't last long at all. Mine started from a wild flower mix. The May 2010 tour photos on my site show a lot of them in the back garden.

Val said...

Well,I don't know but I bet my BFF Vicki knows!!! I will ask her!

Val said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fer said...

They sell them here at the garden center. They are quite nice to look when they are all blooming

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

I had some come up in my garden one year and I leave it reseed. I love it and it is a native flower here but I cannot see where it would be invasive. It just seems to grow here in the wetter areas and not in the drier parts. Maybe the old clay and sun keeps it in check here.

Becca's Dirt said...

I don't know much about it. It is beautiful though.

Patsy said...

If it is same that I have I like it and it bloomed all summer.

Cyndy said...

I grow it here in CT - banned or not - it provides indispensable tall purple and white flowers in a dry woodland area where nothing else works. It is biennial, as one of the commenters noted, so if you want to keep the numbers down, you've only got to dead head or pull up spent plants.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I have them in one flower bed and to keep them from spreading too much,I cut the stems off before the seeds ripen.

Anonymous said...

Friend. Anything that blooms early is welcome in my garden. Well as long as it's not too prolific with the seed scattering. Great question!

texasdaisey said...

Dame's rocket is a friend here in Seymour, Texas. It doesn't have a chance to really go too crazy here. I have only got a few to come up from seed. They really are lovely.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Sweet blooms, wish it would find it's way to my garden too!

Dragonfly Treasure said...

Sweet Annie (Artemisia Annua) is used in primitive crafts as filler for bowls,arrangements, wreaths, etc wherever you need a little extra "prim". It keeps it sweet smell once dry.


NanaK said...

This is one of those flowers I have assumed were only for more northern climates than mine. Perhaps I should try some in the winter sometime. I bet the hot, humid summers will keep it in control. It sure is pretty.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I yanked out all the Hesperis I'd sown when I read that it is invasive in wooded areas in Illinois. I don't miss it. I've got native Phloxes that fill the gap quite nicely.

Julie said...

I've not ever seen this before (to my knowledge)...I love the 4 petals! How unique!

Twisted Fencepost said...

I know nothing.
But it is a pretty little flower.

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