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 ‘Dwarf Stock’

A cultivar of Matthiola incana (L.) R.Br. The species is a biennial sub-shrub with a woody base, sometimes branched, with lance-shaped leaves and usually purple flowers.  Garden stocks are mostly derived from this species and have been available in a range of colours, white, pink and red through to purple, and with single and double flowers, since at least early Victorian times.  Macarthur’s ‘Stock-dwarf’ probably corresponds to the modern summer flowering Ten-week dwarf stocks.  

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Annual or perennial herbs, sometimes inhabiting sea cliffs.  From a few wild kinds have been obtained the numerous varieties of the garden Stocks, which have so long been among the best of our open-air flowers.  The principal of these species are M. incana, M. annua, and M. sinuataM. incana grows wild on cliffs in the Isle of Wight, and is the origin of the Biennial, or Brompton and Queen Stocks; M. annua has yielded the Ten-week Stocks, and M. sinuata the others.’  [Robinson - The English Flower Garden and Home Grounds 10th Edition, p.680/1907].  Mathiola annua is now considered a form of Matthiola incana.

History at Camden Park

On 8th April 1846 Macarthur ordered seed of 12 varieties of German origin of Dwarf Stock, and the others listed here, from James Carter, Seedsman and Florist, High Holborn [MP A2933-1, p.128].  Recorded as an annual by Carter.


Published Oct 02, 2009 - 04:27 PM | Last updated Aug 17, 2011 - 04:28 PM

Family Brassicaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Mediterranean, cultivated forms of garden origin

  • Cheiranthus incanus L.


Common Name

Dwarf Stock

Name in the Camden Park Record


Confidence level high