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White Mignonette

Reseda alba

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Resedaceae (Mignonette)
Also in this family:
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, roadsides, towns, wasteland.

White, 6 petals
The inflorescence is a long flower spike consisting of many small white flowers. Flowers have 5 or 6 petals. Each of the petals are divided into 3 long and narrow lobes.
A globular pod with our distinct points.
An annual or short-lived perennial with leaves divided into numerous deeply divided lobes. Sometimes seen as a garden escape.
The flowers are fragrant.
Other Names:
White Reseda, White Upright Mignonette.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Reseda alba, also known as white mignonette or white reseda, is a species of perennial herb in the Resedaceae family. It is native to Mediterranean region, naturalized in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. The plant typically grows to a height of about 60 cm and produces spikes of small, white, sweet-scented flowers. The leaves are lanceolate, and they are arranged alternately on the stem. The plant blooms from late spring to early fall. It is often cultivated as an ornamental plant for its attractive flowers and its pleasant fragrance. The flowers are used for perfumery and some traditional medicine system also use it for treatment of certain ailments.


White Mignonette, also known as Reseda alba, is a beautiful and fragrant flowering plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. This plant is a member of the Reseda genus and is widely grown for its delicate white flowers and sweet fragrance. White Mignonette is a popular choice for home gardens and is also used in the perfume industry for its sweet aroma.

White Mignonette is an annual plant that grows up to 60cm tall. It has green leaves and small white flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer. The flowers are arranged in loose clusters on tall spikes and emit a sweet, spicy fragrance that is reminiscent of cloves and cinnamon.

Growing White Mignonette is relatively easy, as it thrives in well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade. It prefers soil that is rich in organic matter and requires regular watering to keep the soil moist. White Mignonette can be propagated by seed, which can be sown directly in the garden or started indoors and transplanted outdoors once the plants have grown a bit.

One of the best things about White Mignonette is its fragrance, which has made it a popular choice for perfumers for centuries. The scent of White Mignonette is often described as sweet and spicy, with notes of clove and cinnamon. The flowers are usually harvested in the early morning when their scent is at its strongest, and the essential oil is extracted using steam distillation.

White Mignonette has many uses in the perfume industry, where it is often used as a base note to add depth and complexity to fragrances. It is also used in the production of soaps, candles, and other scented products, and is a popular choice for bridal bouquets and other floral arrangements.

In addition to its fragrance, White Mignonette has also been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In traditional medicine, the plant was used to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, headaches, and skin irritations. The leaves and flowers of the plant were often made into a tea or infusion and taken orally, or applied topically to the affected area.

White Mignonette has a rich cultural history, with references to the plant dating back to ancient times. The plant was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for its fragrance and medicinal properties. The Romans even used the plant in their public baths to add fragrance to the water.

In the Victorian era, White Mignonette was a popular plant for gardens and was often grown in pots or in small beds near windows so that its fragrance could be enjoyed indoors. It was also commonly used in wedding bouquets and other floral arrangements, as it was considered a symbol of fidelity and enduring love.

Today, White Mignonette remains a popular choice for gardens, especially those designed to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The plant is also used in aromatherapy and holistic healing practices, where its sweet fragrance is believed to have calming and soothing properties.

While White Mignonette is generally considered safe, some people may be allergic to the plant, particularly its pollen. If you are allergic to other members of the Reseda genus or have a history of allergies, it is best to avoid White Mignonette. As with any herbal remedy, it is also important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using the plant for medicinal purposes.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, White Mignonette is also a valuable plant for wildlife. The plant's fragrant flowers attract a variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These pollinators help to fertilize the plant and promote biodiversity in the surrounding ecosystem.

Furthermore, White Mignonette has some interesting cultural and symbolic meanings. In the language of flowers, White Mignonette represents lasting beauty, modesty, and simplicity. It is also associated with tranquility and peace, making it a popular choice for meditation gardens and other contemplative spaces.

In some cultures, White Mignonette is also associated with wedding traditions. In Morocco, for example, the bride's family traditionally gives the groom a bouquet of White Mignonette as a symbol of their approval and support for the marriage. In other cultures, the plant may be used to decorate wedding cakes or other wedding-related items.

White Mignonette is also known to be a companion plant, meaning it can be grown alongside other plants to benefit their growth and health. For example, White Mignonette can be grown alongside vegetables such as beans, broccoli, and tomatoes to help repel pests and attract beneficial insects.

White Mignonette is not only a beautiful and useful plant, but it is also a hardy one. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and soil conditions, making it an ideal choice for gardens in various regions. Additionally, the plant is resistant to many common pests and diseases, which means that it requires minimal maintenance and care.

As a cut flower, White Mignonette has a relatively long vase life, which makes it a popular choice for florists and home decorators. To extend the life of cut White Mignonette flowers, it is best to change the water in the vase daily and trim the ends of the stems every few days.

When it comes to harvesting White Mignonette for its fragrance, it is important to do so at the right time. The flowers should be harvested early in the morning when their fragrance is at its strongest. The flowers can be cut and used fresh or dried for later use.

To dry White Mignonette flowers, they should be hung upside down in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Once the flowers are completely dry, they can be stored in an airtight container for later use in potpourri, sachets, or other scented products.

In conclusion, White Mignonette is a versatile and useful plant that has many benefits and uses. Whether you are looking to add fragrance to your garden, create your own perfumes and scented products, or attract pollinators to your space, White Mignonette is a great choice. Its sweet aroma, delicate flowers, and hardy nature make it a plant that is sure to bring joy and beauty to any environment.

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Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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