Ontario Weeds: Dame's rocket
Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds,
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Table of Contents
- Other Names
- General Description
- Stems and Roots
- Flowers and Fruit
- Similar Species
- Related Links
Name: Dame's-rocket, Hesperis matronalis
Other Names: Dame's-violet, Mother-of-the-evening, julienne des dames, julienne, julienne des jardins
Family: Mustard Family (Cruciferae)
General Description: Perennial, reproducing only by seed.
Dame's rocket. A. Lower part of flowering plant. B. Upper part of flowering plant.
Stems & Roots: Stems - erect,
45-140cm (18-56in.) high, often branched above;
Leaves: lanceolate, up to 15cm (6in.) long, pubescent, shallowly dentate, short-stalked or stalkless, with acuminate tips;
Flowers & Fruit: Flowers in elongated racemes, very showy and fragrant; each flower 1.4-2.5cm (3/5-1in.) across; the 4 petals purple, or varying to shades of pink or white; seedpods (siliques) 2.5-14cm (1-5½in.) long, somewhat constricted between the seeds. Flowers from May to August.
Habitat: Dame's-rocket is an old-fashioned ornamental that was introduced from Europe and escaped from cultivation. It is common in damp soil along roadsides, rivers, fencerows and ditches and in waste areas, forests and abandoned orchards in southern Ontario.
Similar Species: It is distinguished by its tall stems, its showy purple to pink or white petals, pubescent, sharply toothed leaves and its habit of growing in scattered or thick stands in non-cultivated areas.
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