Native to Eurasia, this cool weather annual is a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae, that also includes cabbage, broccoli, and Alyssum. It may be upright or sprawling, and has linear leaves that are gray-green, pinnate at the base, and entire near the top. The 4-petaled appear in the spring for a long bloom time. They are .4 to .8″ across and may be purple, pink, yellow, or brown, rarely white. They appear wilted most of the day but open from late afternoon to evening and give off a sweet pleasant fragrance of vanilla, clove, and rose . Night scented stock tends to be a straggly plant and is best planted in clumps. It is suitable for containers and patios as well as for fragrance and moon gardens, and wherever the scent can be appreciated. The genus name, Matthiola, honors Italian doctor and botanist, Pietro Andrea Mattioli ( 1501 – c. 1577), who identified many plants for medicine and science. The specific epithet, longipetala, comes from the Latin word, longus, meaning long, and the suffix -petalus meaning petals.

Type: Annual

Bloom: Four-petaled flowers in purple, pink, yellow, or brown from spring to fall

Size: 18-24″ H x 18-24″ W

Light: Full sun (tolerates dappled shade)

Soil: Average, moderately moist, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline

Hardiness: Not hardy but prefers cool temperatures

Care: Deadhead to encourage continuous bloom or sow seed throughout the growing season.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance but can be damaged by aphids, slugs, snails

Propagation: Seed

Companion Plants: Cornflower, tassel flower, sweet alyssum 

Outstanding Selections: ‘Evening Fragrance’ (pink, lilac and white flowers)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

By Karen