Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

The Plant Guide

Browse the Full Plant Guide

Sweet rocket

Hesperis matronalis

HESS-per-iss mah-tron-AL-iss Audio

This plant is a biennial or short-lived perennial with leafy stems and 4- to 8-inch-long toothed, hairy leaves. Lilac or purple, sometimes white, flowers are borne from late spring to midsummer in racemes or panicles.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsConsidered invasive in grassland sites and forests. Attractive to insects. Flowering diminishes with age.

CareGrow in moist but well-drained, fertile, neutral to alkaline soil.

PropagationFrom seed sown in situ. Root basal cuttings in spring.

ProblemsViruses, mildew, slugs, snails, flea beetles, caterpillars.

  • Genus : Hesperis
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Growth Rate : Fast
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Bloom Time : Spring, Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Flower Color : White

Plant Characteristics are only available to Fine Gardening members

Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to our complete plant guide as well as our entire collection of articles and videos.

Start Free Trial

Related Plants

Related Articles

More From the Plant Guide

Winter Interest

Partial Shade

Browse the Full Plant Guide