Angelica archangelica
Common Name: garden angelica
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apiaceae
Native Range: Europe, Asia, Northern Hemisphere
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Fruit: Showy

Culture

Easily grown in rich, slightly acidic, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Full sun in northern areas. Perhaps best in sun dappled shade in St. Louis. Best with consistent moisture. Do not allow soils to dry out. This plant is a biennial (plants die after producing seed in the second year) that produces foliage in the first year and flowers in the second year. If flower stalks are removed prior to buds opening, the plants may last an additional year or two, but at the cost of loss of ornamental flowering. Plants may be grown from seed and may self-seed in optimum growing conditions if spent flower umbels are not removed. May also be propagated by root cuttings taken in the second year. Space new plants 4-6' apart in the landscape.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Angelica archangelica, commonly called garden angelica, is a bold, somewhat coarse, biennial that may be grown in the garden for both ornamental and culinary purposes. In the first year, it produces a clump of compound leaves. In the second year, a hollow-but-stout stem rises to 6' tall bearing large, ornamentally-attractive, globular flower umbels (each to 6" diameter). The flowers bloom in early summer, followed by seed that ripens in late summer. Plants die after the seed ripens. The compound, biternate, yellow-green leaves have distinctive inflated stem bases. Lower leaves typically grow to 2-3' long with toothed individual leaflets (to 3" long). Numerous tiny greenish-white flowers combine to form large, globular, compound umbels (to 6" diameter). Leaves, stems, roots and seeds (all with a taste of licorice) have been cultivated for many years for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Culinary uses include: (1) leaves may be added to mixed salads; (2) stalks and young shoots may be used like celery or crystallized in sugar for cake decorations or snacks; (3) leaves, seeds and roots may be used for making tea; (4) seed is commercially used for flavoring liqueurs (as Chartreuse). Plants also have a long folk history in Europe and Asia for medicinal uses.

Genus name was formerly Herba angelica and so named because an angel pointed out the medicinal qualities of the plant.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for spider mites, leaf miners and aphids.

Garden Uses

This is a large biennial that needs lots of space, some shade, and moist to wet soils. Water gardens, stream/pond banks or wet meadows. Peripheries of borders or herb gardens as long as soil moisture requirements can be met.