Mignonette (Fr. mignonnette, diminutive of rnignonne, darling), the common name for reseda odorata, a very popular garden annual. Though we derive our garden name as above indicated, the French use reseda as the common name. This genus and a few others form the small family resedacea, which in a systematic arrangement occupies a place between cruci-ferai and violacece. The resedas are natives of Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia, and are herbaceous or somewhat shrubby plants, with alternate leaves, and greenish yellow or white flowers in long terminal spikes; the four-to seven-parted calyx is never closed, even in the bud; the petals as many as the calyx divisions, unequal, some or all deeply cleft or divided; stamens 10 to 40, borne on a glandular disk; ovary and pod of three to six carpels united, not quite to the top, to form a three- to six-lobed or three- to six-horned, one-celled pistil, which opens at the top long before the seeds are matured. The common mignonette (P. odorata) is much cultivated for the fragrance of its greenish white, inconspicuous flowers. In north Africa it is a perennial, but it is usually cultivated as an annual; the seeds are sown where the flowers are to bloom, and it springs up abundantly from self-sown seeds.
For greenhouse culture, several seeds are sown in a pot and the plants thinned to three. What is called tree mignonette is only the ordinary kind which, by nipping off the flower buds, is prevented from blooming until it has formed a strong tree-like plant. By selection several improved strains have been produced. Mignonette is much used by florists to impart fragrance to bouquets of showy but inodorous flowers. The white mignonette (P. alba), with long spikes of odorless flowers, is rarely seen in gardens, and weld or dyer's mignonette (P. luteola) is sparingly naturalized. (See "Weld).
Mignonette (Keseda odorata).