Hesperis matronalis dame’s rocket Brassicaceae HEMA*; Bx, br, pb, wv (Yost et al. 1991); NY (DeCandido 2001); R, bm;

  

Hesperis-matronalis.Antonino Messina.luirig.altervista.org

Hesperis matronalis.Antonino Messina.luirig.altervista.org (Accessed 2/2015).

Hesperis matronalis is a biennial to Perennial herb, 0.5-1 m tall, often branched above. 

Leaves alternate, stalk short or none, blade to 12 cm long, 4 cm wide (Yatskievych 2006), lance-shaped, hairy on both sides, margin sparsely toothed. 

Flowers purple to white, fragrant, 2-2.5 cm wide, showy, petals 4, narrowed at base (clawed), sepals 4, purple-green, pouched at base, appearing to form a tube around petal bases (Yatskievych 2006); inflorescence of spike-like clusters, racemes to 30 cm long, flowers crowded at top, fruit developing behind flowers. 

Fruits becoming dry, thin, cylindrical pod 5-10 cm long, somewhat constricted between seeds. 

Wetland status: UPL. 

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Hesperis matronalis.invasion into woodland.commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 2/2015).

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Eurasia. 

Habitat: Occasional in open areas or woodlands, roadsides, moist soil pH 5-7 (USDA, NRCS 2006). 

Notes: Escaped ornamental that can displace native herbs. Introduced as a garden plant by colonists in the 1600s, possibly for medicinal purposes. Listed as moderately invasive by New York Flora Atlas and the USDA Forest Service (Douce et al. 2007; Weldy and Werier. 2005).