This genus from the mustard family contains many plants grown for their scented blooms.
- Old-fashioned plants native to the Mediterranean region, well suited to the cottage garden.
- All have long, narrow, gray-green leaves and masses of delightfully scented flowers in erect, spike- like clusters.
Valued for fragrance, cut flowers. Oblong leaves to 4 inches long. Single or double, inch-wide flowers with spicy-sweet scent. Colors include white, pink, red, purple, lavender, blue, yellow, cream. Blues and reds are purple toned; yellows tend toward cream.
Many strains are available (most of them hybrids), ranging from under 1 feet to as tall as 3 feet., from 10 to 16 inches wide. Taller selections are best for cutting.
Need light, fertile soil and good drainage. Like pansies and violas, stocks bloom in cool weather. In the Upper South, choose early bloomers, and plant in earliest spring to get flowers before hot weather comes. Elsewhere, set out plants in fall for bloom in winter or early spring. Stocks take moderate frost but will not set flower buds if nights are too chilly, so late planting delays bloom until spring. In areas with heavy winter rainfall, plant in raised beds to ensure good drainage and prevent root rot.
evening scented stock
matthiola longipetala bicornis
- To 1 feet or a little taller, 9 inches wide, with lance-shaped leaves to 312 inches long.
- Small purplish flowers are not showy but emit a powerful fragrance at night.