Hesperis matronal/is. - Dame's Violet. - The single varieties of this fragrant flower are common in most gardens. It is a biennial or imperfect perennial, easily raised from seeds, producing flowers the second year, on long spikes, in May and June, of various shades, from pure white to purple; three to four feet high. Fine varieties may be perpetuated by divisions of the root. Perfectly hardy. The double varieties of this flower are superb, and highly esteemed for their fragrance and beauty.
There is a purple and white variety, both very double, forming a spike about one foot high. It was known in Gerarde's time, and cultivated by him in 1597. He remarks, "By the indus-try of some of our florists, within these two or three years, hath bin brought unto our knowledge a very beautiful kind of these Dame violets, having very fair, double, white floures." These double varieties are very difficult to preserve, consequently rarely to be seen.