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Mother-Of-The-Evening Hesperis matronalis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
HES-per-iss mah-tro-NAH-lis
Description

Dames' Rocket is often mistaken for a native wildflower and is included in many 'native' wildflower mixes. It originated in Europe but was brought over by early settlers. It has become highly invasive and is often found in open woodlands, prairies, roadsides, ditches, and other disturbed areas where it crowds out native plants.

It will grow well in average, well-drained soil in full or partial sun. However, once planted it may be difficult to get rid of due to heavy over-seeding. It is a biennial or short-lived perennial with foliage only for the first year before blooming in the second year.

Hesperis comes from the Greek word 'hespera', meaning evening, due to its evening fragrance, Matronalis comes from the Latin 'matrona' , as this plant will begin blooming in early Spring, around March 1st,  the time of the Roman Festival of the Matrons.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#sun#invasive#partial shade#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#biennial#white flowers#pink flowers#wildflowers#cut flowers#medicinal#lilac flowers#well-drained soil#multistemmed#deer resistant#woodland#edible garden#poor soils tolerant#praire
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#sun#invasive#partial shade#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#biennial#white flowers#pink flowers#wildflowers#cut flowers#medicinal#lilac flowers#well-drained soil#multistemmed#deer resistant#woodland#edible garden#poor soils tolerant#praire
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hesperis
    Species:
    matronalis
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Leaves are antiscorbutic, diaphoretic and diuretic, and are best picked when the flowers are blooming. Oil from the seeds is used in making perfume.
    Life Cycle:
    Biennial
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to Central Asia
    Distribution:
    It is found throughout Canada and much of the United States, excepting Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
    Edibility:
    Young leaves are high in vitamin C and can be eaten in salads and have a slightly bitter taste. Seeds can be sprouted and also eaten in salads.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Siliques (long slender fruits) are 2-4 inches long and contain a large number of seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    fragrant (clove-like scent, especially in the evenings), white to purple or pink with 4 petals in a cross; bloom in late spring
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Denticulate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate leaves are lanceolate, pubescent, and dentate with widely spaced teeth along the margins, up to 6" long and 2" across.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Poor Soil