Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Matthiola incana ‘Brompton Stock’

A cultivar of Matthiola incana (L.) R.Br. See Matthiola incana 'Dwarf Stock' for a brief description of the type.  Queen or Brompton Stocks are typically double-flowered biennials in shades of red, pink, purple and white.  Usually summer sown they flower in late winter or early spring.

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘For [early spring flowering] none beat the Intermediate, Queens, Bromptons, and other biennials.  Sow in june, plant in sheltered places, and in pots, to be kept in cold pits, and turned out early in spring.  [JD].  Johnsons' Dictionary gives Queen’s stock as the common name of the purple-flowered Matthiola incana, Brompton stock as the common name for the variety coccinea and Branching stock as the common name for alba

‘Biennial Stocks comprise the Brompton and the Queen, and they should be sown in June and July to flower in the following spring or summer.  They are closely allied, and are probably only varieties of the same kind; but the seed of the white Brompton is pale in colour whilst that of the Queen is quite dark.  Old growers of the Stock assert that while the under side of the leaf of the Queen Stock is rough and woolly, the leaf of the Brompton Stock is smooth on both sides.  Of the Queen Stock there are three colours — purple, scarlet, and white; and of the Brompton Stock the same, with the addition of a selected crimson variety of great beauty, but somewhat difficult to perpetuate.  Both types are really biennials.  The seed should be sown at the end of July in beds, and the plants transplanted to the open ground in the autumn.  The difficulty of wintering the Brompton Stocks deters many from attempting their cultivation, and many die, even in a mild winter.  A well-drained subsoil with a porous surface soil suits them best, and shelter from hard frost and nipping winds is of great service.  A second transplantation of the seedlings about December has been tried with success.’  [Robinson - The English Flower Garden and Home Grounds 10th Edition, p.680/1907].

History at Camden Park

Recorded as a biennial by Carter from whom Macarthur ordered 8 varieties.  [MP A2933-1, p.128].


Published Oct 02, 2009 - 05:21 PM | Last updated Aug 17, 2011 - 04:23 PM

Family Brassicaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Mediterranean, cultivated forms of garden origin

  • Cheiranthus incanus L.


Common Name

Queen Stock, Brompton Stock

Name in the Camden Park Record

Stock-Queen or Brompton 

Confidence level high