Saturday, November 28, 2015

Seedy Saturdays- Sweet Rocket

Happy Saturday Everyone!  Today's blog is looking back on those pretty flowers we seem to find all around our ditches in the springtime.  Oh if only it were spring again!

This plant is a herbaceous plant species in the mustard family and has many common names, such as “dame’s- violet,” “rogue’s gilliflower,” and “summer lilac.”  Found around the property at the Backus-Page House Museum, sweet rocket, coming in white to purple to pink, are biennials or short-lived perennials that bloom from April to July.  Though it can be cultivated, in many areas it has become a weed species.  Its scientific name Hesperis means “evening” in Greek and most likely because the smell of the flowers becomes more prominent towards evening hours. 

Sweet rocket grows best in full sun to partial shade, is undemanding and self-seeds quickly, forming dense stands, thus having the potential to crowd out native species when growing outside of cultivated areas. This plant is commonly found in roadside ditches, dumps and in open woodland settings, where it is noticed when in bloom, much like the ditches along Lakeview Line where they can be seen growing.  It also makes an attractive, hardy garden plant.

Enjoy your upcoming week!

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