Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)

Dames Rocket, Hesperis matronalis, invasive plant

General: Perennial or biennial herb with bright purple flowers which has been introduced as a garden ornamental, now spreading invasively.  Hairy weed from the mustard family.  

Height: 0.5 - 1.3 meters 

Flowers: Fragrant inflorescence with 4 purple to white petals 

Leaves/Stems: Tall, simple or sparingly branched stem. Basal leaves soon falling off. Stem leaves lanceolate to narrowly egg-shaped, hairy, & saw-toothed.  

Root: Taproot. 

Dame’s Violet 

Sweet Rocket 

Mother of the Evening 

Julienne des Dames 

Julienne des Jardins 

Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata) Phlox has 5 petals. Blooms in late summer or early fall which is later than Dames Rocket. 

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata) Phlox has 5 petals. Blooms in late summer or early fall which is later than Dames Rocket. 


Where did it come from? Introduced from Europe. 

Where does it grow here? Grows along moist to dry roadsides, ditchlines & in disturbed areas.  Homes & gardens when intentionally planted. 

Reproduction: By seed. 

When does it grow, flower & seed? Blooms in spring (late May to early June). Fruit/Seeds present from Summer to Fall. 

Spreads By: Seed dispersal by wildlife & mowing. 

Plant Type: Perennial or biennial. 

  • Prolific seed pods allow the plant to spread rapidly and dominate new areas. 
  • Habitat loss for native species. 
  • Know Before You Buy & do not buy wildflower mixes that do not have the names listed on the package. 
  • Review your property regularly for this species. 
  • Treatment Hand-pull patches before it flowers & sets seed.  
  • Cover bare patches or disturbed soil by planting or seeding with non-invasives. 
  • Check areas where you have removed invasives for any new plants that year and in future growing seasons. 
  • Dispose of invasive plants responsibly. Bag them for disposal at the local landfill.  Composting and burning are not recommended. 
  • Contact LRISS for specific treatment recommendations. 

E-Flora BC https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca

Invasive Species Council of Manitoba https://invasivespeciesmanitoba.com

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, & Rural Affairs http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca

Photo Gallery