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Angelica archangelica (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Angelica archangelica (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Zones A2, A3, 1-10, 14-24
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Angelica archangelica

Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Annuals, Perennials

Native to northern Europe and western Asia. A tropical-looking plant with divided and toothed, yellow-green leaves 2–3 ft. long. When it blooms (in early summer), it sends up a thick, hollow stem to 6 ft. tall topped by a large (4 ft. wide), umbrella-shaped cluster of greenish yellow flowers. Angelica leaves are a nice addition to salads; the leafstalks can be cooked and eaten like asparagus. Both leafstalks and hollow flower stems can be candied and used to decorate pastries. The seeds are used commercially to flavor wines, vermouth, and liqueurs.

Grow in moist, rich soil. Propagate from seeds as soon as they ripen in fall. Because angelica is taprooted and doesn’t transplant well, sow seeds in place; space plants 4 ft. apart. To prolong a plant’s life for a few years, cut out the flowering stem after it has formed.

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