Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

For the past few weeks I have noticed some beautiful plants growing along the highway and in waste areas.

I had always thought that they were a wild phlox, but after taking some photos and looking at the flowers more closely, I realize that these plants are called 'Dames Rocket'.  You see, Phlox flowers have five petals and Dames Rocket only has four.

They come in many colours, from white to pink to lavender and purple.  The interesting thing is that they are in the Mustard Family.  Seeds are produced in a similar manner as other mustard plants.  The botanical name for them is Hesperis Matronalis.  Hesperis means a tall herb with fragrant flowers. and Matronalis means belonging to a married woman.

Dames Rocket was brought to North America by early settlers from Europe.  In some areas it is considered an invasive species, only slightly less noxious than Garlic Mustard which I showed you a couple of weeks ago.    But I just love the looks of this plant in wild areas.  It blooms in spring when there is not much else in bloom.  It is colourful and smells terrific.  And it is thought to be useful in the treatment of some forms of cancer.  What more could you ask for?


Terry said...

Lovely flowers! Thanks for sharing! :0)

Wacky Woman said...

So pretty and sweet!

Monica said...

I thought they were phlox too, although they are a little earlier than the phlox in our garden. Good to know!

I am sorry now that I didn't take a photo of a mystery tree in our neighbour's yard when it was in bloom two weeks ago. We cannot figure it out, but I bet you would know!