Thursday, June 26, 2008

Evening Scented Stock

Evening scented stock or Matthiola longipetala subsp. Bicornus is a half-hardy annual whose tiny four-petaled white and lavender flowers open at dusk. Not the tidiest of plants, they are best placed behind showier specimens.

However, these rather modest unassuming flowers have a wonderful secret.  It's an amazing fragrance that wafts on the breeze in the evening.  It's obviously meant to attract some night flying pollinator. They make an evening visit to the garden bench a real delight.

I was first told about these flowers by the Colonel.  He remarked that his mother grew them outside his bedroom window when he was a boy.  I was intrigued.  I searched and finally found the seed.  As sometimes happens I had difficulty getting them started.  Now they come up from seed and weeding is carefully done watching all the while for these little plants. To me their fragrance makes them so special that they should be tucked somewhere in every garden.

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