Hesperis matronalis

Sweet Rocket, Dame's Violet

This plant attracts the following butterflies:

Large White, Small White


Large White butterfly on Hesperis matronalis

Large White. 2 June 2002.

mauve flowers of Hesperis matronalis


Sweet Rocket or Hesperis matronalis seems to be described as both a biennial and a perennial in different books. I grew some from seed in 1999; one of my plants was completely demolished by caterpillars of the Large White.

One plant came to Cirencester and attracted butterflies in the Spring of 2000. I grew some more plants from seed in 2000, ready for 2001.

These thrived in 2001 but in September, I found that several of the plants had again been demolished by Large White caterpillars.

Hesperis matronalis is said to tolerate poor soil, which makes it particularly useful in my garden.

Reference Section

Plant Type: perennial or biennial

White or Violet flowers in Spring

Height: 75cm
Spread: 60cm

Sun and well-drained soil.

This page last updated April 19, 2004