Maine wild flowers can be so pretty.

I try not to show my sensitive side very often, but I do appreciate life's pretty and beautiful things. I enjoy a killer sunset. I love a good mountain view. And I can even admit that a cute little flower will get my attention from time to time. Even thought they're nothing super special, I love Johnny Jump Ups quite a bit, as I'm partial to purple.

Read More: In Maine, Could 'No Mow May' Pave the Way for More Ticks?

Maine has a ton of different varieties of purple flowers. Knapweed, some kinds of phlox, some varieties of vetch... All lovely, little purple flowers. But some, as nice as they can be to look at at, have bad intentions for your yard. You may lull yourself into thinking that something that lovely could be so damaging, but let's talk about Dame's Rocket.

What is Dame's Rocket?

Photo by Cowboy Bob Sorensen on Unsplash
Photo by Cowboy Bob Sorensen on Unsplash

Technically, it's an herb in the mustard family. You'd think it would have some kind of use as an edible plant, and it does. In fact, it's delicious. But, the insidious problem, is that it's also a highly volatile, invasive species of plant. If it does take hold in your yard, you'll need to essentially eat your weight in it every year, to keep up.

Photo by sheri silver on Unsplash
Photo by sheri silver on Unsplash

You'll find if you decide to eat it, it tastes a lot like arugula. Which makes sense, as a lot of people specifically refer to arugula as rockets. But even though salads are an option as growth control, it'll be hard to keep up. Dame's rocket takes years of hard work to get out of your yard, once it's gained its footing.

Woman gardening

How do you tell it from other purple flowers?

With Dame's Rocket, the plants can grow 2-4 feet tall, and the flowers have four petals, located fairly high up the plant. The leaves are kind of pointy, oblong, toothed, and a bit hairy. Sure, other plants may fit a similar description, so you may want to do some solid research before you make your final judgement call.

Read More: Can Maine Homes Still have an Active Outhouse on their Property?

It's always nice to have pretty flowers in your yard. But sadly, there's always some that are going to try and literally take over your whole yard. Dame's Rocket is one of those plants. So get familiar, and get ready to do battle with your yard. Or, do like I do and just let the poor Dame's Rockets win, hahaha. Then mow 'em down. Bye-bye!

How many of these live in your yard?

LOOK: 20 of the biggest insects in the world

Stacker compiled a list of 20 of the biggest insects in the world using a variety of news, scientific, and other sources.

Gallery Credit: Andrea Vale

LOOK: 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the US

From secret gardens to underground caves, Stacker compiled a list of 25 must-visit hidden gems from across the United States using travel guides, news articles, and company websites.

Gallery Credit: Abby Monteil

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Osborn & Peter Richman

More From WWMJ Ellsworth Maine