This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dame's Rocket

My Dame's Rocket Patch
 Dame's Rocket, also known as Sweet Rocket, is considered a noxious weed in many States and many an organization has plans to poison our Environment and Water supply to eradicate it from the environment. This is another of those introduced species that is under attack because it is considered invasive. Again we blame the plants for Mans stupidity, it was not the plants idea to come here from Eurasia. (see  http://ethnobotanist128.blogspot.com/p/some-thoughts-on-invasive-species.html )
  I have a long history with Dame's Rocket. When I was much younger, I spent a lot of time exploring the natural areas on Long Island where I am originally from. One day I came across a beautiful plant I had never seen before in a park not far from where I lived. I knew the caretaker of the park and inquired about the plant. By the time I came back from my hike there was a note on my windshield that simply read "Dame's Rocket"

Four Petaled Flowers

 Fast forward about 32 years. I was reading through my "Ethnobotanical Catalog of Seeds" and saw Dame's Rocket listed, well you know I had to buy some seeds! I threw the seeds into a cleared patch in my Echinacia garden and a bunch started to come up in less than a week. They grew quickly and were flowering before I knew it. It was as beautiful as I remember it. It was good to see my old friend again.
 It was quite obvious, as the plant started to flower, that it was a member of the Mustard Family. The four X shaped petals of the flower and the long thin seedpods were unmistakable. Of course now I'm thinkin "is it edible"?
  Well it is! The young leaves are great in a salad but the older leaves don't taste that great. The flowers are an nice addition to a salad also. The seeds, which I haven't had a chance to experiment with, are reported to be high in healthy oils and are ground and eaten or sprouted and eaten for there high nutritional value. If you have ever seen or grown other types of Rocket, or any Mustard for that matter, you know they are prolific seed makers. A testament to their survival ("invasive") characteristics.
  Last year I took all the seeds from the original plants and planted them in their own garden. This year I have a beautiful purple flowered garden. The flowers make excellent and beautifully fragrant cut flowers also.
 Dame's Rocket is often mistaken for Phlox. From a distance they look quite similar, but on closer inspection you will see Phlox has five petals and the leaves are different. Don't mix them up because Phlox is not edible.


  1. Dame's Rocket is so beautiful! I became familiar with her last summer, and indeed, those flowers are quite tasty! You're right about it being easily mistaken for Phlox -- you really can't tell the difference from far away at all!

  2. Also, I really like what you have to say on the subject of invasive species -- you're absolutely right! We always blame the plants and try to destroy them, but in reality it is us who are to blame for bringing them here in the first place! We shouldn't blame the plants for our own stupidity, that's for sure.

  3. Thanks for your support Tiffany, most people in the "mindless masses" think I am crazy, but I bet you get that a lot also!

  4. I do, as a matter of fact. We just have to grin and bear sometimes! Educating the mindless masses is so important, too. We must always teach!

  5. Good Information, thanks! I saw you post on Hometalk!
    Smiles, Cyndi

    1. Thanks for stopping by Cyndi, glad you liked the post. hope you got a chance to check out the rest of the blog.