Iodanthus pinnatifidus

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: purple rocket 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Brassicaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Light violet fading to white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Heavy Shade


Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in part shade to full shade. Best in part shade locations. Plants prefer organically rich soils. Plants will tolerate short periods of flooding. Plants may be grown from seed and may spread by self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Iodanthus pinnatifidus, commonly called purple rocket, is a perennial of the mustard family that is native from Connecticut to Minnesota south to Alabama and Texas. It is typically found growing in low, moist woodlands, on stream flood plains plus adjacent slopes and in moist meadows. In Missouri, it is found throughout the State except for much of the Ozark region, southeastern lowlands region and northeastern corner (Steyermark). Plants typically grow 1-2’ (less frequently 3’) tall on single stems that are unbranched below the flower clusters. Lower leaves are often pinnately lobed near the base, featuring 1-4 pairs of toothed lobes and a large ovate end segment. Upper leaves are simple, elliptic to oblong-ovate with clasping bases. Mildly fragrant flowers (1/3” wide) have four light violet petals and bloom in branched terminal and axillary clusters in May-June. Flowers fade to white as they age. Flowers give way to elongated seed pods.

Genus name comes from the Greek words for violet (iodes) and flower (anthus).

Specific epithet is in reference to the often pinnately lobed lower leaves.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Moist, shady areas including stream banks.