What we love about dame's rocket
- Dame's rocket is an adaptable perennial
- Can be successfully planted in sun and partial shade
- Incredibly resilient and easy to maintain
- Early season bloomer
The many names for dame's rocket flowers
There may not be many other flowers that are known by as many names as Dame's Rocket: Damask violet, Dame's violet, Dame's-wort, Dame's gilliflower, Scented gilliflower, Queen's gilliflower, Mother-of-the-evening, shall we go on? Its multitude of common names attests to centuries of cultivation in gardens and to the high regard in which Dame's Rocket seeds have been held. Many of the names allude to its sweet scent, and the genus Hesperis is Greek for "evening", because that is when the scent of the flowers becomes most distinct.
Dame's rocket has been cultivated for quite a long time. First brought to North America in the 17th century, Dame's Rocket is now found throughout the United States. Most commonly, it is seen growing wild in roadside ditches, and woodland settings. The prolific spread of this species is attributed by its bountiful seed production Typically, the plants will produce a low-level rosette its first year, and in subsequent years, seed and bloom production happens in tandem throughout the bloom season.
Top Characteristics of Dame's Rocket
The flowers are most commonly lavender and purple. However, Dame's Rocket can also be found in shades of pink and white. They can grow up to 100 centimeters or taller, and contain multiple upright stems. The large leaves have somewhat of a rough feel that is due to the short hairs on the surface. Flowers are typically around two centimeters across with four petals.
Due to its resilient nature, Dame's Rocket is easy to grow in sun or shade. Seeds should be sown in the spring, after all threat of frost has passed. It is ideal to select an area that has well-draining, but moist soil. Simply direct sow the seeds via broadcasting onto the surface of the soil. Firmly compress, but do not cover the seeds as they will require sunlight to germinate.
Caring for Dame's Rocket in your garden
After planting, little or no care is needed. However, due to its prolific seeding abilities, some control may be required to prevent spread. Because of Dame's Rocket's spreading abilities, it has legal restrictions in Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin.
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for dame's rocket, see the Dame's Rocket Seeds Planting Guide.