Angelica atropurpurea

Common Name: masterwort 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Apiaceae
Native Range: Central and eastern North America
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: White to greenish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil


Easily grown in medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Perhaps best in sun dappled shade. May be grown from seed and may self-seed in optimum growing conditions if spent flower umbels are not removed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Angelica atropurpurea, commonly called purple-stemmed angelica or Alexanders, is a large herbaceous perennial which grows from 3-10' tall with smooth, dark purple or purple-blotched stems. Native to swampy areas and stream banks from Newfoundland to Minnesota south to Delaware and Illinois. Features tiny greenish-white to white flowers arranged in large, compound umbels (4-10" diameter). Flowers bloom June to September. Compound leaves are biternate to triternate with ovate, toothed individual leaflets. Native Americans used the young stems and leaf stalks as a cooked vegetable.

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


No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

This is a large perennial 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.