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Common Name: Stock
Matthiola incana is a Annual/Perennial up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
S. Europe. Possibly native to S. England.
Sea cliffs and as an escape from cultivation, avoiding acid soils[
]. Rocky and sandy places by the sea[
|Pollinators||Bees, Lepidoptera, Self
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
]. Prefers a fertile neutral or slightly alkaline soil in full sun[
]. Plants grow best in a sandy soil in a warm, sheltered position[
A very ornamental plant[
], it is also a good butterfly plant[
Plants are usually biennial or short-lived perennials and are normally grown as annuals in the garden[
]. The wild plant is a perennial with an almost shrubby nature. Garden forms have been bred to have annual or biennial characteristics[
The flowers have a strong sweet scent[
Flowers - eaten as a vegetable or used as a garnish, especially with sweet desserts[
]. Highly fragrant[
]. Used as a famine food when all else fails[
The seeds are aphrodisiac, bitter, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic[
]. 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[
A dark blue or purple dye is obtained from the flowers[
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse[
]. 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.