Reseda also known as the mignonette is a genus of fragrant herbaceous plants native to Europe, Southwest Asia and North Africa, from the Canary Islands and Iberia east to northwest India. They carry spiked clusters of yellow and white flowers atop long stems. Common names for Reseda include Weld, Dyer's rocket, Bastard rocket, Madeira Vine and Mignonette.
The genus includes herbaceous annual, biennial and perennial species 40–130 cm tall. The leaves form a basal rosette at ground level, and then spirally arranged up the stem; they can be entire, toothed or pinnate, and range from 1–15 cm long. The flowers are produced in a slender spike, each flower small (4–6 mm diameter), white, yellow, orange, or green, with four to six petals. The fruit is a small dry capsule containing several seeds.
Madeira Vine is an evergreen climber that grows from fleshy rhizomes. It has bright green, heart-shaped, fleshy shiny leaves 4-13 cm long. Wart-like tubers are produced on aerial stems and are a key to identifying the plant. It produces masses of small fragrant, cream flowers on hanging racemes, which may be up to 30 cm long. Flowers are about 5 mm across, fragrant. Flowers are white, inflexed, patent in anthesis; tepals ovate or oblong to elliptic, 3 x 2 mm, tip blunt. Stamens are white; filaments reflexed at tip in bud, spreading in anthesis. Style is white, split to 3 stigmatic arms, each with 1 club-shaped or broadly elliptic stigma. Although this species has both male and female flowers they rarely reproduce sexually and produce seed. This species often spreads through its own vegetative growth, but can easily be transported by human activities. If fragments end up in waterways, they are easily transported to new locations in this manner. Reseda are able to bloom from the start of summer until the first frost of winter.
The acrid root is diaphoretic, diuretic and laxative. The seed is applied externally as a resolvent.
An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. Used in perfumery. 1200 Kg of flowers yields 350gr absolute.
A yellow dye is obtained from the plant.