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Annual BiennialHerbaceous Perennial

Hesperis matronalis
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

dame's violet

H. matronalis is a rosette-forming biennial, or short-lived perennial, with leafy stems growing to around 90cm. Loose clusters of white, or pale to mid-purple, scented flowers appear in late spring and early summer

Other common names
close sciences
damask
see moredamask violet
dame's rocket
dame's wort
double rocket
garden rocket
night rocket
night violet
night-scented violet
queen's gilliflower
rocket
rogue's gilliflower
summer lilac
sweet rocket
white rocket
winter gilliflower
Synonyms
Hesperis matronalis violet
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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
1–2 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple White Green
Summer Purple White Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Brassicaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Hesperis are biennials and perennials with loose clusters of four-petalled, fragrant, purple, cream or white flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe to Asia

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, moist but well-drained neutral or alkaline soil in sun or semi-shade. Replace every two to three years as flowering diminishes with age

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in situ

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut back after flowering

Pests

Cabbage caterpillars, flea beetles, slugs and snails may be a problem

Diseases

May be affected by a virus or powdery mildews

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