Ah, the fragrance and beauty of stock. Never heard of the flower? Such a strange name for a gorgeous bloom, right?
I must confess, that not everyone "gets" this flower and those not familiar with it's ruffled flowers often complain thinking that there is not the way it should look, but alas it is! That being said, it's still one of my favorite flowers of all time (next to roses, of course) not only because of those crinkled flowers all in a row but also because of their amazing fragrance. Their long graceful line comes in so handy when creating floral designs and the colors of white, cream, lavenders into rich purples and Burgundy's also make for pretty arrangements mixed with other flowers or used just by themselves.
Used extensively by the commercial floral industry because of its spicy scent and long lasting blooms, Matthiola incana--stock--may have been commercially cultivated as far back as the Roman Empire. Many old English names were given to Matthiola incana including stocks, sea stocks, wallflowers and wall or gillyflowers. Gillyflower is thought to have originated from "gillofloure", the name English herbalist John Gerard gave it in 1597.