This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Erect biennial or perennial herbs with simple, forked or glandular hairs. Leaves scattered on the stem, ovate or oblong, entire or toothed or lyrate. Flowers rather large. Sepals erect, lateral ones saccate at the base. Petals clawed. Stamens free. Pod angular or compressed; valves keeled; seeds in a single row. About twenty species, from Europe, Asia Minor, Persia, and Siberia.
1. H. matronalis, including H. inoddra and H. Sibirica. Dame's Violet, or Rocket. - From 2 to 3 feet or more high. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, dentate. Flowers odoriferous in the evening, purple, red, or white, or variegated. Pod contracted between the seeds. This plant, a native of the South of Europe, has long been cultivated, and many beautiful varieties have been obtained, including double-flowered in all of the above-mentioned colours. May to August.