Random Plant: Dame’s rocket

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Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis, Brassicaceae) photographed 05/30/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis, Brassicaceae) is a common sight along many roadways and fields in the late spring and early summer. The large, attractive flowers have made it a favorite garden plant since its introduction to North America from Eurasia in the 1600s. Over the centuries it has spread in the wild across most of the continent.

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Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis, Brassicaceae) photographed 05/30/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

Dame’s rocket is characterized by large four-petaled flowers that are typical of plants in the mustard family. Flower coloration varies from white to pink to purple, often mixed together on adjacent plants. The stems and toothed leaves are covered in fine hairs:

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Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis, Brassicaceae) photographed 05/30/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

The invasive nature of dame’s rocket has proven to be deleterious to local ecosystems. This plant crowds out native plant species with its dense growth and copious seed production. It’s often sold in “native” seed mixes and planted by unwitting gardeners who aid its spread.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Random Plant and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Random Plant: Dame’s rocket

  1. good to know…so many invasives are planted unknowingly…I am planting natives..Michelle

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