This wildflower looks like Phlox but it’s easy to tell them apart. Start pulling Dame’s Rocket flower petals with ‘She Loves Me’ and you’ll find ‘She Loves Me Not’ when you get to the last one. Your garden phlox will always love you because it’s odd. Dame’s Rocket has 4 flower petals compared to the 5 of Phlox.
Dame’s Rocket is an invasive alien wildflower that has escaped from garden settings. No spaceships where involved in their dispersal, it is native to Europe and was brought over to the new world to be used as an ornamental plant. Their aggressive nature is actually a family trait. When it goes to seed Dane’s Rocket gives away it’s family identity. The long seed pods mark it as a member of the mustard family. It is a prolific self seeder and can quickly form dense stands that crowd out native plants.
Flower colors range from deep purple, lavender, pink and white. Dame’s Rocket is a fairly common sight along roadsides in St. Lawrence County, NY. These were spotted along the Black Lake Road in the Town of Morristown.
I caution anyone who wants to stop along Black Lake to get a close look, take photos or collect seed to watch where they go. Poison Ivy hides in the unmowed areas along the road.
At one time Dame’s Rocket seeds were included in ‘wildflower’ mixes. Since Dames Rocket is considered a noxious weed by many states I certainly hope they’re no longer added to the mix.
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