Flower of the Month – Stock

Flower: Stock

Scientific Name: Matthiola incana

This sweetly fragrant flower really needs a new name as they sound so very boring when they are so cottage garden pretty! The flowers come in a number of different colours – pink, red, yellow, lilac and purple – but the most common is white and most recently popularare the pastel tones. Stock is a very enduring bloom that can have a vase life of up to 4 weeks.

The botanical name for this plant is Matthiola incana. It was named after Dr Matthiole, a personal doctor to Emperor Maxmillian of Austria who was renowned for his botanical as well as his medical knowledge. The species are native to Europe, central and southwestern Asia, and North Africa.

Stocks represent lasting beauty and symbolise a happy life. In Elizabethan times, stocks were known as Gillyflowers and this name is still sometimes used.

Double-flowered stocks are prized by gardeners for their floral display but are sterile. They therefore have to be produced from the seed of single-flowered plants. The double-flowered form is caused by a recessive gene variant (allele) in the homozygous condition

Stocks originated in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands but thrive in cooler climates and temperatures and can even withstand a light frost. In the southern hemisphere they typically flower between April and October.

Species Matthiola incana is a species of the genus Matthiola, which contains approximately 54 other species.

Care Tips Stocks can reward you with a vase life of up to four weeks. However, you need to be careful to regularly change the water, remove any foliage below the water line to prevent slime growing, add flower food and recut the stems.

Visit our local growers at Halit Flowers, Epping Flower Market (opposite the café) for freshest Stock flowers available in five colours!

Stock Inspiration












1. Stock is a perfect addition to scattered mixed vase centrepieces adding a vintage, cottage feel and filling the air with a sweet fragrance. (Image above via thefrenchbouqette.com)











2. A stunning monochromatic effect using white stock en masse in a glossy black urn for a high glam impact. (Image above via Pinterest)









3. Making the most of pastels using soft pink gerbera, Andromeda and Easter daisy for a fresh picked field feel with blush coloured stock. (Above image via Bolea.com)