Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) lights up the hillsides of Pittsburgh in late spring. Pittsburghers commonly refer to it as “phlox,” but it’s actually a member of the crucifer or mustard family, as you might guess by its four petals in a cross shape. It’s a foreign invader, a descendant of garden flowers brought by the first European settlers. But who can object to a weed as beautiful as this? The flowers commonly come in a range of colors from vivid purple through pink to white, but some patches have bicolor flowers delicately spattered with color in an infinite variety of patterns.
Why should the beautiful die?