Well-known as a decoration for puddings and cakes, Angelica archangelica is a tall, aromatic, perennial herb with attractive, rounded umbels, up to 4-6 in. across (10-15 cm), of white or greenish tiny flowers in early summer. The flower umbels are born on bright green, hollow stems, which are sometimes tinged with purple, and give way to seeds that ripen in late summer. They rise above a foliage of bright green leaves, 2 ft. in length (60 cm), which are made up of three finely toothed leaflets and make a pretty backdrop for other plants.
As an ornamental plant, Angelica is a stunning herb, providing height and structure. Rich of a licorice taste, all parts of this aromatic plant also have a long history of cultivation for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The leaves are great in salads; the stalks may be crystallized in sugar for cake decorations and the seeds are used for flavoring liqueurs (as Chartreuse). The root was believed to protect against plague and other infectious diseases as well as easing the symptoms of a range of ailments - hence the name of "Angelica" as a result of its angelical virtues.
- Blooming profusely from early to mid summer, Angelica is a hapaxanthic perennial, in that each year’s growth dies back to ground level after flowering and fruiting, to be replaced by fresh growth the following year.
- Grows vigorously up to 3-6 ft. high (90-180 cm) and spreads 2-4 ft. (60-90 cm). This plant is a biennial that produces foliage in the first year and flowers in the second year. Plants may last a third or fourth year, especially if you remove flowers.
- Performs best in full sun to part shade, in rich, medium to wet soils. Plants do best in the shadiest and coolest part of the garden, especially during hot summers. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Staking may be needed in exposed sites.
- Deer resistant, it attracts butterflies and beneficial insects.
- Easy to grow, Angelica is a welcomed addition to beds, borders, woodlands, naturalized areas, water gardens, near streams or pond banks.
- Plants may be grown from seed and may self-seed in optimum growing conditions if spent flower umbels are not removed. May be propagated by root cuttings taken in the second year.
- Cut back after flowering
- Susceptible when young to damage from slugs, snails, aphids, leaf miners and to powdery mildew