Hesperis matronalis – Dames Rocket

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Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) is an invasive, yet edible plant in the mustard family.
In early spring, you can find the basal rosette of Dame’s rocket leaves in disturbed areas. The leaves are covered in small, fuzzy hairs and have irregularly toothed margins.
Dame’s rocket leaves taste like peppery arugula. They are best foraged for before the plant sends up a flower stalk. At this point, the leaves become tougher and more bitter.
The leaves can be added raw to salads or cooked similarly to mustard greens. Blanching the leaves will remove the fuzzy texture.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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