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.


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.