Common Name: Double Stock, Gillyflower
Family Roots: Member of the Brassicacee or Cruciferae (mustard) family. Native to the Mediterranean region. Common relatives include alyssum, wallflower, candytuft, and nasturtium.
Personality: Has double flowers one inch wide in 6–8 inch columnar clusters at ends of stems. Stems leafy, 24–28 inches long. An annual classed as a dicotyledon, leaves are not parallel-veined. Flower fragrance is spicy, clove-like.
Availability: Mostly spring and summer to year-round.
Stem Length: 24–28 inches
Flower Length: 4–8 inches
Care & Handling: Remove bottom leaves if present and recut stems under water. Cut stems above semi-woody base, but do not pound the stems. Use properly made fresh flower food solutions because stems of this species tend to quickly contaminate vase solutions if made too weak. This fieldgrown species is often contaminated with microbes, dirt, and debris, which can make the water solution go bad quickly. Storage Specifics: 32°–34°F.
Tidbits: Named for Dr. Peter Andrew Matthioli, an Italian physician and botanist (1500–1577). The specific epithet name “incana” means hairy. In 16th century Saxony, people bred new colors of stock, but each village was only allowed one color in order to keep the shades distinct. Single and double flower forms exist, but the double forms are most desirable. “Cruciferae” means cross, referring to the petals positioned like a cross, an obvious reference to Jesus and the crucifix.