Dame's Rocket, Sweet Rocket 'Alba'

Hesperis matronalis

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hesperis (HES-per-iss) (Info)
Species: matronalis (mah-tro-NAH-lis) (Info)
Cultivar: Alba




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Richmond, California

Oskaloosa, Kansas

Halifax, Massachusetts

Ronkonkoma, New York

Huron, South Dakota

Yankton, South Dakota

Germantown, Tennessee

Fairview, Utah

Delavan, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 17, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This pretty perennial self-sows aggressively and persistently in the garden, and can crowd out other more desirable garden plants if not regularly thinned. It can spread rapidly. The seeds can lie dormant in the soil for many years, only to sprout when conditions are right. Once you've let it go to seed, removing it requires a great deal of work over many years, even if you catch it before it's spread to neighboring properties. It's been five years, and I'm still trying, but it's wearing me down.

Though it isn't a North American wildflower, it is often included in cheap "wildflower" seed mixes here. It's a threat to wild habitat over most of the continent except the deep south.

Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata) and meadow phlox (P. maculata) have similar garden... read more


On May 23, 2009, jamieos from Ridgefield, CT wrote:

This plant was given to me years ago by a friend who had it on his property. It has been banned(!) in CT and Mass. by the plant nativists because if is not a "Native". It came to this country centuries ago from Europe, brought by our ancestors. It is a lovely thing coming in all colors of white, pinks, fuchsia/rose and lavender. It blooms when most other plants have not begun to to flower - bridging the late bulbs, peonies and irises in my garden. Yes it does self-sow, just as do other plants that we cherish, but it certainly is NOT invasive, and if there are too many in your borders, simply pull them out! It does not propagate by underground roots, and does not seed itself far from the original location. If you do not want it to spread, simply cut it back after blooming and before it goes... read more


On Apr 13, 2008, maccionoadha from Halifax, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant is Prohibited in Massachusetts and Banned in Connecticut.


On Jun 4, 2007, prairiemom from Huron, SD wrote:

This plant grows wild in roadside ditches and is spectacular when blooming.. In my gardens I allow a few to remain to self-seed wherever it wants, but pull most of the plants out after the first flush of bloom. This way I always have young vigorous plants which do not take up too much space and space where I pull them out to plant other new late arriving perennials. Plants if left from year to year get very large and take up a lot of space with unattractive leaf growth. It survives extreme cold and/or dryness.


On Jul 19, 2006, Anitabryk2 from Long Island, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This wintersowed very nicely.