This favourite hardy annual (Matthiola bicornis) grows to about 1 ft. with small, straggly lilac flowers, which open in the evening to give off a delicious fragrance. It is customary to sow a patch near a house window so that the perfume drifts into the room. Sow thinly and thin out to about 3 in. Any well-drained soil will suit, similarly sun or shade. Amateurs often mix with an equal quantity of the seeds of Virginia stock (Malcolmia maritima), which is rather shorter in growth to ensure colour in the daytime. For East Lothian stocks, Brompton stocks etc., see STOCK.

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