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Dame's-violet

Hesperis matronalis

Plant Data

Order:
Brassicales
Family:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Very variable in colour ranging from purple, lilac and white, 4 petals, up to 2cm across. Similar-looking flower to Phlox, but Phlox has 5 petals and not 4.
Fruit:
Slender, elongated, cylindrical pods, each up to 4 inches long. They emerge outwards from the main stem and then curves upwards. Each pod contains a single row of seeds.
Leaves:
Lanceolate, mostly stalkless with toothed margins, up to 5 inches long. The base of the leaf is rounded and leaf tip tapers into a point.
Maximum Size:
100cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
The leaves are bitter-tasting and can be eaten into salads. The flowers and seeds are edible too.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
Flowers are very pungent.
Other Names:
Damask-violet, Dame's Gilliflower, Dame's Rocket, Dame's Violet, Dame's-wort, Garden Rocket, Mother-of-the-Evening, Night-scented Gilliflower, Queen's Gilliflower, Rogue's Gilliflower, Summer Lilac, Sweet Rocket, Winter Gilliflower.
Habitats:
Ditches, gardens, grassland, hedgerows, meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, wasteland, wetland, woodland.