Native to the Mediterranean region.
Matthiola incana of the Levant is the parent
of the Brompton and Wallflower-leaved Stocks,
a biennial of sturdy erect habit, with flowers
varying in colour from white to blush, yellow,
purple and red of delightful fragrance.
Matthiola annua (syn. Incana annua) is the parent
of Ten-week and Intermediate Stocks, with an equally
varied colour range.
From crosses made between Matthiola sinuata and
other species has originated the East Lothian
Matthiola bicornis, from Greece, is the Night
Scented Stock. Of dwarf habit, this annual produces
masses of small lilac-purple flowers.
The seed of Matthiola incana is sown in the open
in June or July, and the plants placed in their
permanent positions about Michaelmas.
Matthiola annua and Matthiola Sinuata should be
raised from seed sown under glass early in the
year, pricked off into boxes and planted out in
Propagation is from seed.
The flowering season of Matthiola incana is from
April to July, Matthiola annua from July to October,
and Matthiola sinuata August and September.
Half Hardy Annual and Half Hardy Bulb.
One to two feet.
Flowers of many colours, May to August.
For ordinary garden purposes, leaving out pot-flowers
and greenhouse work, there are two main divisions
of Stocks, the Brompton, or Spring-flowering,
sown in summer to flower the following May, and
the Ten-Week, or annual, sown on heat in March,
or on a warm border in May, to flower in July
and August of the same year.
The Brompton Stocks should be sown in boxes in
July, and helped with shade and water as may be
Plant them out on a piece of sound clean ground,
without fresh manure; in October put in their
A little shelter from trees or walls may help
them through the winter; they are not quite hardy,
and unless the soil and climate are favourable
the gardener must be prepared for losses.
A well-grown Brompton Stock has a strong woody
stem, and a broad tuft of leaves, from which rises
a spike of double flowers, crimson-purple, light
crimson, or white.
Brompton Stocks are of those things which appear
to thrive better in cottage gardens than in more
The Ten-Week Stocks should be sown in large shallow
boxes about the end of March, and put in a temperature
of about 55° to 60°.
The seed should be sown thinly, as if the plants
are too close, they are apt to damp off. Prick
out when large enough to handle on a bed of light,
rich soil, still in a temperature of about 60°.
Give plenty of ventilation, and keep the seedlings
as near as is practicable to the glass of the
Harden by judicious admission of air, and plant
out on beds of rich, well-manured soil about the
end of May, a foot apart, taking up the plants
carefully with a trowel, and keeping as much mould
on the roots as you can.
During the growing season hoe constantly to kill
weeds and open the soil; give copious waterings
in drought; it may be needful to tie each plant
unobtrusively to a small stick.
On light, warm soils, and in southern climes,
Stocks may be sown in the open about the first
Make up a nice fine seed-bed, working in some
sand and old potting soil; sow thinly in drills
about half an inch deep, and cover the bed with
netting or black cotton stretched on sticks.
The seedlings must be thinned out, and the survivors
allowed to flower where they were sown.
There are several different strains of Ten-Week
Stock, such as Dwarfs, Miniatures, Bouquet and
The dwarf kinds are compact, but dumpy; the tall
are the handsomest, but are inclined to straggle.
The colours include white, crimson, pink, carmine,
creamy yellow, peach, purple, buff, bluish mauve,
It should be remembered that in the best of seed
one is lucky to get 80 per cent of double flowers;
the singles are extremely poor things, and spoil
the look of a bed lamentably.
There is no means of judging of the flowers before
they blow, and the only resource is to buy the
best seed and be philosophic.
All ground Stocks should be heavily manured, and
have sufficient moisture.