Dame’s rocket seems to be following explosive growth patterns similar to its close relatives in the mustard family, garlic mustard, yellow rocket, hedge mustard and wild radish, all highly invasive species that have infested agricultural lands and native woodlands, savannas and grasslands across the country. Also, sweet rocket leaves are alternate and phlox has opposite. The tender (after cooking) clusters of basal leaves are the most bountiful gift the plant gives, but there’s a few more treats from dames rocket. Most of us enjoy Dames Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) for its showy spring blossoms of whites, violets and pinks peeking out of the hedgerows and covering banks, but being in the mustard family it is also edible. Best of all, it is a very hardy plant that can tolerate snow, frost and low temperatures, and is therefore a good winter forage. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of MLive Media Group, You are viewing this article in the AnnArbor.com archives. Dame’s rocket or hesperis matronalis is an annual, biennial and at times a perennial, erect plant that reaches up to 4 feet tall and 18 inches wide. Posted on April 30, 2017 by onedogrunning. Both plants boast petals that are deep lavender, although pink and white variations also exist. Purple Rocket. Note that despite the name, the plant is not related It can form massive colonies, typically setting foot in disturbed soils. Learn all about this wild edible of the Brassicaceae family; a tasty, handsome, feral cousin of our familiar mustard family vegetables: kale, broccoli, arugula, cabbage, etc. The plants typically produce only a low-lying rosette their first year, in subsequent years, Dame's Rocket shoots up quickly in spring and enters full bloom by May. […] Like the leaves, the seeds are edible as well. Native to Eurasia; Has been introduced as an ornamental in North America, that easily escaped gardens; Is listed as a noxious weed in Colorado, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and restricted in Wisconsin. This plant is often mistaken for Phlox, but Phlox has five petals while Dame’s Rocket has just four. The pink, magenta, or white flowers have large loose, fragrant clusters with four petals that bloom May to June. Wild Edibles: Dame’s Rocket. Leaves decrease in size as they ascend the stem. Many invasives were introduced for their value in other ways (including great taste or medicinal use), and then things just got a bit out of control. Emits a lovely nocturnal scent and is great planted in a pot on patios and decks to enjoy this lovely night time scent. Dame’s rocket is thought by many to be a native wildflower and is found in wildflower seed mixes and planted as an ornamental. Adding flowers to salads can make a plain ordinary salad something truly beautiful and extraordinary. It is a biennial or short-lived perennial that readily self-seeds, so it is perfect for naturalising in a wildlife garden. Dame's Rocket SeedsThis classic flower is, unfortunately, not as well-known as it should be. Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is a wild cruciferous vegetable whose flower buds make an excellent addition to meals. SWEET ROCKET / DAME'S ROCKET Hesperis matronalis approx 100+ seeds This variety produces beautifully scented flowers on tall upright stems, growing approx 100cm tall. The plant usually grows as an annual or biennial, rarely as a perennial. It originated in Europe but was brought over by early settlers. (Dame’s rocket is closely related to arugula.) While popular in the flower garden, it is also grown as a wildflower. For culinary purposes, the leaves should be picked before the plant flowers. Dame’s Rocket is an integral part of our Eastern Kansas landscape, having escaped to the wild from early gardens. ---Description---These biennial plants are natives of Italy, but are found throughout most of Central and Mediterranean Europe, and in Britain and Russian Asia as escapes from gardens. Phlox (Phlox paniculata) You can tell the two apart because dame’s rocket has 4 petals; while phlox has 5. The Dame’s Rocket (a member of the mustard family) has purple and white flowers to add to salads — do not use Phlox flowers. The plant is part of the mustard family, which includes radishes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and mustard. Garden planning; Gardening advice & tips; Permaculture; Articles. Flowers are edible and can be added to salads. Dames' Rocket is often mistaken for a native wildflower and is included in many 'native' wildflower mixes. Dame’s rocket: An invasive, deceitful but beneficial flowering plant. 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