Matthiola incana is part of the Brassicaceae family of plants. It is also known as Matthiola incana ‘Brompton’, Matthiola arborescens, Hoary Stock, Stock, Brompton Stock, Cluster-leaved Stock, Gilliflower, Common Stock, Wallflower Stock, Queen’s Stock or Hopes. Matthiola incana is a short-lived perennial though some treat it as a biennial. It has narrow green foliage and very fragrant flowers and prefers calcareous soil so they grow on cliffs by the sea. Matthiola incana is native to Southern Europe.
I really like this flower due to its fragrance, Matthiola incana is commonly found in farmer’s markets in California. There is a farmer’s market every Sunday near me in Los Angeles that usually has these flowers and when I see it I buy it, I like to get them as they are very colorful and fragrant as cut flowers and last long, however, if you get them to change the water often as they muddy the water fast. Matthiola incana colors range from white, cream, yellow to pinks, mauves, lilac, purple, and burgundy. The upright flowers appear on stocks in late spring and summer. They grow to about 30cm or 12in and woody at the base.
Plant Matthiola incana in the sun in well drained soil and in a sheltered bed. Propagate them from seed sown in early spring. You can cut them back after flowers are done. Watch for aphids, flea beetles, cabbage root fly as well as downy mildew, clubroot or root rot. Double-flowered Stocks are sterile, so actually they are grown from single-flowered plants. So heterozygous single-flowered usually produce at least 25% double-flowered variety. However, cultivating Matthiola incana cultivars over the years has improved the odds.