Information on Dame's-violet

Common Name: Dame's-violet
Scientific Name: Hesperis matronalis
Irish Name: Feascarlus
Family Group: Brassicaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Dame's-violet is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

Also known as Sweet Rocket, this plant has made good its escape into the wild.  Originally from central Europe, this is a medium, hairy perennial which has 15-20mm violet or white, four-petalled flowers.  Its leaves are narrow and pointed, the upper smaller than the lower.  The flowers have a heavenly evening scent and they are borne in panicles from May to August.  The seedpods are up to 10cm long and curve upwards.  This lovely plant grows to about 90cm high, in hedges and waste land and it belongs to the family Brassicaceae.        

I came across this plant in 2007 at Baginbun, Co Wexford where I also photographed it.   

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

This plant is named in Gilbert White's History of Selborne, 1768-1793  'June 3 1792' among other plants flowering on that day.  It was also said to have been 'cultivated by dames of baronial castles' and 'called castle gillyflower'