Matthiola incana 'Giant Imperial Stock'
You know the days must be getting longer when the sweetly scented Stocks start to flower. This is supposed to be a double flowering form but as the double flower is a recessive gene the percentage of single flowering ones is often high. I prefer the single ones because I think the perfume is stronger and you can sometimes get 2 years out of a plant if you cut off the flowering stems in late Spring. It is worth saving the seed also as next years crop will include some double flowers. Double flowering plants don't set seed. This is a great cut flower with a good vase life but being in the cabbage family, the vase water turns putrid after a couple of days if you don't change it. It is a native of south west Europe.