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Matthiola incana - (L.)R.Br.

Common Name Stock, Tenweeks stock, Gillyflower, Brompton Stock
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Sea cliffs and as an escape from cultivation, avoiding acid soils[17]. Rocky and sandy places by the sea[260].
Range S. Europe. Possibly native to S. England.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Matthiola incana Stock, Tenweeks stock, Gillyflower, Brompton Stock

Matthiola incana Stock, Tenweeks stock, Gillyflower, Brompton Stock


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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Matthiola incana is a ANNUAL/PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen in August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.


Cheiranthus incanus.


 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses:

Flowers - eaten as a vegetable or used as a garnish, especially with sweet desserts[183]. Highly fragrant[183]. Seedpods[105, 183]. Used as a famine food when all else fails[177].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antidote;  Aphrodisiac;  Bitter;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Stimulant;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The seeds are aphrodisiac, bitter, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[240]. An infusion has been used in the treatment of cancer and when mixed with wine it has been used as an antidote to poisonous bites[240].

Other Uses


A dark blue or purple dye is obtained from the flowers[168].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Massing. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[1]. Prefers a fertile neutral or slightly alkaline soil in full sun[200]. Plants grow best in a sandy soil in a warm, sheltered position[260]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is also a good butterfly plant[17]. Plants are usually biennial or short-lived perennials and are normally grown as annuals in the garden[188]. The wild plant is a perennial with an almost shrubby nature. Garden forms have been bred to have annual or biennial characteristics[260]. The flowers have a strong sweet scent[245]. Special Features: Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers.


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Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse[1]. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. The seed can also be sown outdoors in situ in mid to late spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

   Tue Apr 22 2008

When starting from seed, put seedlings in 40 degree F for a few days. Plants that turn light greeen will have double flowers. Plants that are dark green will have single flowers

   Oct 30 2015 12:00AM

The sub-species Matthiola incana subsp incana grows wild along the coast here in Wellington tolerating extreme exposure, leaves and 'seed pods' or fruits taste surprisingly good, a pretty typical Brassica flavor, a bit like Kale or Wild Turnip. The flowers seemed to taste a little odd.

   Jun 4 2017 12:00AM

How should bare stalks be treated after flowers have bloomed?

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