Herb: Sweet Rocket


Latin name: Hesperis matronalis


Family: Cruciferae



Medicinal use of Sweet Rocket:

The leaves are antiscorbutic, diaphoretic and diuretic. They are best harvested when the plant is in flower.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
75 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
May to
July


Scent:
Scented
Perennial

Habitat of the herb:

Woodland edges, meadows, hedges, grass verges etc, avoiding acid soils.

Edible parts of Sweet Rocket:

Young leaves - raw. Rich in vitamin C, they are used as a cress substitute in salads. A rather bitter flavour, though many people like the extra tang it gives to salads. For culinary purposes, the leaves should be picked before the plant flowers. The seed can be sprouted and added to salads. The seed contains 50% of an edible oil - there is a potential for cultivation.

Other uses of the herb:

An essential oil from the seed is used in perfumery. The plant is cultivated for this purpose.

Propagation of Sweet Rocket:

Seed - sow spring in an outdoor seedbed and plant them out in late summer. Germination should take place within 3 weeks. The seed can also be sown in early spring in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring. The seed can also be sown in July for planting out in the following spring. Division. Plants are short-lived perennials, division may not be worthwhile. Cuttings in summer 7cm long in a shady border. Only done with named varieties being grown for ornament, it is not worthwhile otherwise.

Cultivation of the herb:

Woodland edges, meadows, hedges, grass verges etc, avoiding acid soils.

Known hazards of Hesperis matronalis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.