Matthiola incana, sinuata 

(matt-the-o' lah in-can' nah, sin-uu-ah' tah)

Common name: Stocks, Florist's Stock, Gillyflower (UK)

Family: Brassicaceae, Mustard

Flowers: a biennial, it requires cold to initiate flowers; range of colors; permeating clove scent

Harvest: when 7-10 flowers are open, cut or pull whole plant and cut off later, STS increases vase-life

Foliage: simple, sometimes toothed and coarsely hairy

Growth habit, uses: cut, pots, bedding

Other interest: introduced in 1930's, it was a major cut flower crop in east for 3 decades, but is now mainly produced outdoors in California and Arizona; quite popular in the UK and Europe where divided into 6 classes depending on growth and flowering habit; native to Eurasia; named for 16th century Italian botanist Pierandrea Mathioli

Production: sow seeds direct into cut flower bench into 2 soil: 1 peat moss: 1 perlite; sow several seeds per hole to increase chances for doubles; support with mesh; initiates flowers with 10 or more leaves and at least 21 days below 60ºF; hold at this temperature for fastest growth and best bloom; too low temperatures cause short plants; too high temperatures cause "blind" plants--shoots with no flowers

Propagation: seed


Hybrids of above 2 species.

Pots and bedding:

Cinderella series--requires long days for uniform flowering, sow late winter for flowers following fall; carmine, dark blue, lavender, pink, white

Harmony series--dwarf 9-12", best for pots

Midget series--very early, dwarf 8-10"; red, rose, violet, white; plants with serrated leaves are double

Stockpot series--dwarf 8", notched leaves indicate doubles

Trysomic dwarf double--will flower under high temperatures so good for California; have an extra chromosome; 12" central spike in late spring with side shoots flowering later; mainly grown as a mix

Cut flowers: (columnar, non-branching types)

Cheerful series--mostly double, doesn't require cold to initiate flowers, greenhouse production

Column series--over half double, best for field production, 30-36" tall

Vegmo series-- double, from Netherlands only as plugs, 14 colors

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS121, Indoor Plants.

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