Driving along a Pennsylvanian country road during the months of May or June, you are likely to see some patches of tall white, pink or violet flowers, called Dame’s Rocket or Dame’s Violet.
The flowers of Dame’s Rocket, Hesperis matronalis, cluster at the top of one to three feet tall stems. Blooms with four petals that eventually give rise to erect seedpods indicate this garden escape is a member of the mustard family. Phlox spp. are similar in appearance although the flowers have five petals and you would most likely find phlox blooming in a wooded area.
The white blossoms may have a tinge of pink or purple and some flowers are variegated. The stamens and style are retained mostly in the flower tube.
A few small flower clusters project from the leaf axils. Finely toothed leaves attach directly to the hairy, stiff stem.