Bill Johnson

Dame’s Rocket

Hesperis matronalis L.
Mustard family (Brassicaceae)

Origin: Europe

Dame’s rocket, also known as dame’s violet and mother-of-the-evening, was introduced as an ornamental around the time of European settlement. It continues to be widely used as an ornamental and can be found throughout North America.

Distribution and Habitat
Habitats invaded include open woodlands, prairies, roadsides, ditches, and other disturbed areas.

Ecological Threat
Dame’s rocket displaces native plant species.

Description and Biology

Bill Johnson

Prevention and Control
Do not purchase or plant this species. Individual plants can be pulled by hand if soil is moist or dug up using a spade or shovel to loosen the soil and remove the entire root system. Re-sprouting may occur if entire root system is not removed. Systemic herbicides can be used to kill the entire plant including the roots (see Control Options).

Native Alternatives
Ox-eye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), Canada lily (Lilium canadense), wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum), Turk’s cap lily (Lilium superbum), and three-lobed coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba) are just a few showy native perennials that would make good substitutes for dame’s rocket.


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Last updated:11-Nov-2010