Dame’s rocket, a beautiful but rampant invasive species

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It’s beautiful, fragrant, and pollinators love it — but Dame’s rocket can spread at an alarming rate, especially in riparian areas.

It is found across Alberta, and there are anecdotal reports this prolific seed producer from the mustard family is becoming more common this year.

It’s found quite frequently at old farm sites, but is often a contaminant of wildflower seed mixes. (Do not purchase seed mixes which don’t list the Latin names of the contents.)

It is very similar to Garden phlox, which has five petals and opposite leaves, but Dame’s rocket has four petals and alternate leaves. It typically grows one-half to one metre tall; upper stems often branch; and its leaves are dark green, hairy on both sides, and have serrated edges.

Contact your local Agricultural Fieldman if you find Dame’s rocket in your area. Hand-pulling is the preferred method of control and eradication. Repeated removal may be required before the seed bank is exhausted.

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