Here you can see me planting one of three Angelicas. We were recently given these wonderful late-flowering beauties as a wedding gift so we never had any labels and I think they are Angelica gigas, a native of Japan that can reach two meters in height. However, in this first year of our Prairie Garden experiment, the perennials have flowered splendidly, with dark purple “umbrellas” called umbels, but they’ve not reach their maximum potential height yet and are just poking over the tops of the Heleniums ( Moerheim Beauty). Hopefully, next year will see them in all their rapacious glory. I love the clash of colour of these tough medicinal plants, against the hot reds of the Heleniums- Christopher Lloyd would be proud of this blatant disregard of the colour wheel!
Angelica has a lot to offer. As well as a good-looking erect specimen or “dot” plant, Angelica can be used medicinally.Melissa water, which has Angelica as one of its constituent parts, will help to cure headaches caused by over-indulgence and therefore indigestion-an excellent thing to have handy around the Christmas period! This useful remedy is called a “simple”- a rather misleading term as it refers to a combination of ingredients so, far from simple! The roots can also be used in confectionery and in the making of some liqueurs, thus probably creating the need for the Melissa (Lemon Balm) water.