Sunday , August 20 2017
Home / Articles / Horticulture Industry / Wild Angelica

Wild Angelica




  • Wild Angelica fills a great niche in the Forest Garden.
     
    Common Name: Wild Angelica
    Other Names: Wood Angelica, Woodland Angelica
    Scientific Name: Angelica sylvestris
    Family: Apiaceae or Umbrelliferae (the Carrot or Parsley family)

    Wild Angelica is just a really pretty plant!
     

    Description:
    Wild Angelica is a fast-growing, clump-forming, tall-groundcover biennial plant. In its natural setting, it is often found in damp areas beside lakes and streams, ditches, and wet woodlands. With its flowers that attract beneficial insects, its ability to grow in wet soil, and edible leaves, stems, and roots, Wild Angelica is a great addition to the Forest Garden. This plant is native to Europe, Britain, and Asia and is not common in North America at all. In fact, many see Wild Angelica as an invasive plant in the U.S. and Canada. I’ll let you decide if you want to introduce this plant to your area (if it is not already there), but many of those in Permaculture see all plants as native to Earth – there are no native or invasive plants. Interesting way to look at things…

    Angelica sylvestris
     

    History:
    • Native to Europe (including Britain) and Western Asia.
    • No improvement has been conducted on this plant.
    • It is now commonly viewed as either a wildflower or a weed in its native range.
     
    Trivia:
    • Wild Angelica was a common vegetable until the 20th century
    • Used in the past to prevent scurvy (means it contains Vitamin C) – the leaves were boiled into a stew for storage
    The flower stalk can shoot up 2-3 times the height of the plant.
     

    USING THIS PLANT
    Primary Uses:
    • Fresh eating – leaves, young shoots, and stems used in salads, most commonly as a flavorful addition and not base ingredient
    • Cooked – leaves, young shoots, stems, and roots – either as a main vegetable component or just as a flavoring
    • Candied – stems
     
    Secondary Uses:
    • General insect (especially bees) nectar plant
    • Groundcover – pairs very well with Mentha (mint) species
    • Seeds can be used as an aromatic flavoring
    • Dye – reported yellow dye, but no reference to where this is from, but likely from flowers, maybe leaves, as the stalk is purple
    • Hollow stem has been used for blowpipse and flutes 
     
    Harvesting: Sping through late Summer (April – October)
    Storage: Best used fresh

    The leaf structure of Wild Angelica… yeah, it’s the entire thing.
    There are many leaflets per true leaf, and the leaf stem resembles a stalk of celery.
     
     

    DESIGNING WITH THIS PLANT
    AHS Heat Zone: No good information available
    Chill Requirement: No good information available, although since this is a biennial plant, it likely requires some winter chill to produce a good flowerhead in its second year
     
    Plant Type: Herbaceous Biennial
    Leaf Type: Deciduous
    Forest Garden Use: Groundcover Layer
    Cultivars/Varieties: No improved varieties 
     
    Pollination: Self-Pollinating/Self-Fertile
    Flowering: July – September. Remember this is a biennial plant; flowering only occurs on 2-year old plants. 
     
    Life Span: If not dead-headed, Wild Angelica will live 2 years as it is a biennial, but this plant self-seeds rather easily so this issue is rather moot.

    Wild Angelica’s flowers are magnets for beneficial insects.
     

    PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS PLANT
    Size: 2-3 feet (60-100 centimeters) tall, but the flowerheads can shoot up to three times this height
    Roots: Shallow
    Growth Rate: Medium-Fast
     

    Note the characteristic “sheath” at the base of the lower leaves and the purple hue of the stem.
    Stems have no hairs and are not ridged (like Cow Parsnip).
     

    GROWING CONDITIONS FOR THIS PLANT
    Light: Prefers full sun
    Shade: Tolerates full, but not deep, shade (woodland cover)
    Moisture: Prefers medium moisture, but can easily tolerate very wet soil
    pH: Can tolerate a wide range of soil pH
     
    Special Considerations for Growing:
    Take advantage of its moisture tolerance and plant in wet areas that other plants cannot grow.
     
    Propagation: Usually from seed. Wild Angelica readily self-seeds in August through October.
     
    Maintenance: Minimal. 
     
    Concerns:
    All plants in the genus Angelica contain the chemical furocoumarin which can cause a phytophotodermatitis (phyto = plant; photo = light; dermatitis = skin irritation)… there is a potential if the juice from this plant gets on your skin, your skin may become sensitive to light. This compound (if the plant is eaten in large quantities) may alter the metabolism of medications a person may be taking.
     
    Tiny, beneficial Ichneumon wasps feed on nectar produced in the small flowers of Angelica.

    About admin

    Check Also

    Spawn Production Technology – Mushroom Farming

    Report Issue: * Suggest Edit Copyright Infringment Claim Article Invalid Contents Broken Links Your Name: …

    Leave a Reply

    Be the First to Comment!

    Notify of
    avatar
    wpDiscuz