from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A European plant (Hesperis matronalis) having clusters of fragrant purple to white flowers. Also called dame's violet.


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  • Invasive plant species with light purple flowers in Wisconsin, USA

    July 24, 2009

  • "Hesperis matronalis is a herbaceous plant species in the mustard family, Brassicaceae. It has numerous common names including: Dame’s Rocket, Damask Violet, Dame’s Violet, Dames-wort, Dame’s Gilliflower, Night Scented Gilliflower, Queen’s Gilliflower, Rogue’s Gilliflower, Summer Lilac, Sweet Rocket, Mother-of-the-evening and, Winter Gilliflower. Plants are biennials or short lived perennials, native to Eurasia and cultivated in many other areas of the world for their attractive spring blooming flowers. In some of those areas, it has escaped cultivation and become a weed species. The genus name Hesperis is Greek for evening, and the name was probably given because the scent of the flowers becomes more conspicuous towards evening."__Wikipedia

    July 24, 2009