Sunday, August 24, 2008

Angelica gigas, Purple Parsnip

I remember seeing this plant as the "European Plant of the Year" back in the 90s, and being immediately intrigued by its size, foliage shape and the colour of its stems and flowers.

Angelica gigas, or Purple Parsnip, Purple Angelica or Korean Angelica, was introduced to North America by Barry Yinger, one of the principals at Asiatica Nursery, a cool mail-order company based in Pennsylvania. It is native to Japan, Korea and China.

It is usually listed as a biennial, although seedlings will take a couple of years to mature before flowering. It also self-sows readily in the garden under favourable conditions.

I've grown it in two gardens here in Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is definitely more striking in brighter light. It is also loved by the bees!

Here's to dirt under your nails.



Anonymous said...

Did you sneek into my garden and take this pic?! Currently mine looks just like this...companions plants and all!!! Its a beuti, all stop to admire! Hopefully will sow itself for another show in 2010!

mpd said...

Hey, great gardeners think alike!

I too am hoping for some seedling next to appear next spring. I also noticed that the flowers were also covered with ants!

Gottagarden said...

Is it easy to grow from seed? Twice I have bought this from nurseries, only to find out in year 2 that it was actually a mislabeled angelica archangelica, plain green variety. I've always admired this one.

mpd said...

My expectation is that this plant would be on the difficult side to start from seed in the nursery (at home or otherwise). Fresh seed and the correct stratification is likely the main issue.

It does however apparently self-sow in the garden somewhat readily under the right conditions, and that's what I'm hoping for!

It is a beauty.