Dame's Rocket: Hesperis matronalis
|Weed Description: Erect
biennial or perennial that may reach 4 to 5 feet in height. Dame's Rocket is
commonly viewed as a desirable wildflower-type plant that blooms in May or June in
Leaves: Lower leaves range from 3 to 8 inches in length and taper into a short petiole. Leaves become progressively smaller up the stem and are hairy on both sides. Upper leaves are also hairy but are without petioles or only have short petioles. All leaves are lanceolate in outline.
|Stems: Erect, hairy, reaching 4
or 5 feet in height.
Roots: A taproot.
|Flowers: Occur in showy
clusters. Individual flowers are purple or white in color, 8 to 12 mm wide.
Fruit: A silique that is 2 to 4 inches long, 2 1/2 mm wide.
|Identifying Characteristics: Erect plants with lanceolate leaves that become progressively smaller up the stem and have showy clusters of purple or white flowers. Some ironweeds like New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) may resemble dame's rocket prior to flowering, however dame's rocket flowers very early in the season and has usually senesced by the time the ironweeds bloom later in the fall. Additionally, the leaves of dame's rocket are generally wider than those of New York ironweed.|