Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Hesperis matronalis
mother-of-the-evening, dame's rocket

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest and in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington; British Columbia to California, east across most of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Roadsides, disturbed forest edge, wastelots, and other disturbed areas where escaping from cultivation.

Flowers: May-June

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous perennial with 1-several simple or sparingly branched stems 5-13 dm. tall, pubescent with stiff, simple to forked hairs, and also with shorter, forked hairs.


Leaves alternate, lanceolate to lance-ovate, serrate-dentate, 5-20 cm. long, the lower ones long-petiolate, the upper ones often sessile.


Inflorescence of bractless, compound racemes; sepals 4, hairy, erect, the outer pair saccate at the base; petals 4, clawed, white to rose or pale purple, 18-25 mm. long; stamens 6; stigma deeply 2-lobed, the lobes erect.


Siliques linear, nearly terete, 4-10 cm. long, the valves 1-nerved; seeds in 1 series, not winged.

Accepted Name:
Hesperis matronalis L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 663. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Hesperis matronalis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Hesperis matronalis checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Hesperis matronalis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Hesperis matronalis photos.

USDA Plants: Hesperis matronalis information.

21 photographs:
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