Common name: Sweet Rocket, Damask Violet, Dames Violet
Hesperis matronalis L. APNI*
Description: Perennial herbs 40–120 cm, hairy, usually without glandular hairs.
Leaves ovate-acuminate to elliptic or oblong, toothed, basal leaves with long petioles, blade to 20 cm; middle and upper leaves with short petioles but not stem clasping, wavy to entire, to 15 cm.
Inflorescence a simple raceme or panicle with up to 50 branches and leafy bracts below the flowers. Flower stalk without glandular hairs. Flowers strongly fragrant in the evening. Sepals 5–10 mm long. Petals 1.4–2.5 cm long, white, purple or violet.
Fruit 2.5–10 cm by 0.1–0.3 cm, valves rounded, rough, hairless
Flowering: Flowers summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Native to S France and Italy but widely naturalised throughout Europe.
NSW subdivisions: *CT
Text by B.M. Wiecek
Taxon concept: The European Garden Flora Vol 4, 1995, 137 and The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening Vol. 2, 1992:559-560.
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.