Invasive Species -


Dame's Rocket
(Hesperis matronalis L.)


Photos & Description courtesy of IPANE

Where it's from



What Dame's Rocket does to the habitat

The species is an alternate host for mosaic virus, a major killer of plants in the U.S. It has high seed production and can form dense stands that displace native species.


Another reason for concern is because Dame’s Rocket seeds are included in many wildflower seed mixes and is still being introduced.



You can pull the individual plants out of the ground, but be advised you will have to do this for several years until the seed bank expires.


If you want to spray you can do so in the late Fall when other species are dormant


Common Name

Full Scientific Name

Dame's rocket
Dame's violet
Sweet rocket
Hesperis matronalis L.

Family Name Common

Family Scientific Name

Mustard family Hesperis matronalis


Botanical Glossary

Hesperis matronalis is an erect, herbaceous biennial or perennial that grows 0.5-1.25 m (1.5-4 ft.) tall. The alternate leaves are lanceolate to deltoid-lanceolate and are 5-10 cm (2-4 in.) long. They vary from having short petioles to being sessile. The leaf margins are denticulate. The leaves are pubescent above and below. The fragrant flowers can vary in color from purple to pink to white. The flowers appear in late May to June and are borne in terminal racemes. They have 4 petals and are about 2 cm (0.75 in.) in size. The siliques (fruits) are 5-10 cm (2-4 in.) in length and are somewhat constricted around the many seeds. Page References Bailey 449, Fernald 712, Gleason & Cronquist 196, Holmgren 179, Magee & Ahles 560, Newcomb 138, Peterson & McKenny 84,226.

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