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Dames Rocket, an Invasive Plant, is Blooming Now

Posted on May 25, 2023

You have probably noticed dame’s rocket beautiful blooms, but did you know that this beautiful plant is also invasive? Dame’s rocket was introduced to North America in the 1600’s. It is often found in moist, wooded areas, but has the ability to also invade open areas. The plant’s three-month-long blooming period and ability to set abundant seed have contributed to its spread.

Dame’s rocket is often confused with garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), because the flower colors, clustered blooms and bloom time are similar. They are easy to tell apart if you know what you are looking for. Garden phlox has flowers with five petals while dame’s rocket has four petals. Leaves are different too. Garden phlox have opposite, untoothed leaves while dame’s rocket has alternate, toothed leaves.

Locating and removing plants before seed set, is the best way to prevent the spread of dame’s rocket. Also be sure to check the contents of “wildflower” seed mixes for this species and only purchase mixes that do not include it. For more information, see http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/dames-rocket

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