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  Dame's rocket  

Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Exotic Species:

Dame's rocket Hesperis matronalis

Dame's rocket
is an herbaceous perennial of the mustard family characterized by fragrant white or purple flowers that are produced in May. A native of Europe, dame's rocket was introduced into gardens during the Colonial period. By the end of the nineteenth century it was so well established along roadsides and woods that many thought that it was a native wildflower. Dame's rocket competes with Virginia bluebells, phlox and other native wildflowers typical of moist woods. The seeds of this plant germinate readily, enabling it to form dense stands that exclude native wildflowers. Seeds of this plant are often included in wildflower mixes that are sold commercially.

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