Dame’s Rocket and Bittersweet Nightshade

The botany books and Internet searches have helped to identify two more wildflowers in the backyard:  Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) and Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara).  Dame’s Rocket is “prohibited” in Massachusetts due to its non-native invasive behavior.  (It that sounds bad, consider Connecticut’s designation of Dame’s Rocket:  “invasive and banned, e.g. illegal to move, sell, purchase, transplant, cultivate, or distribute”.  In some regions, including Europe, it is intentionally cultivated as a flower (with a lovely fragrance) in the garden, but “escaped” cultivation in Massachusetts, and is now an outlaw here.  We’ll keep an eye on it…

Bittersweet Nightshade has a striking yell0w-purple flower that looks almost man-made due to the brightness of both colors (maybe because they are complements).  However, this plant also is problematic in that its red berries are poisonous to people.  To make matters worse, the only one found thus far on our property is beside the brambles we think (or hope) are edible blackberries or raspberries.  Also one to watch and either remove or educate the family about.

About Jonathan

Jonathan is a geospatial systems integrator, cross-country runner, husband and father. For as long as he can remember, he has been fascinated by systems. This blog explores the integration of building systems and surrounding site systems such as vegetation, hydrology and wildlife.
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