How to Grow Angelica
This flowering herb makes an imposing display at the back of a herb garden or flower bed, especially if it reaches its full height of 7-10 ft (2.1-3m).
The plant has always been surrounded by superstition and credited with having magical and medicinal powers. It takes its name from the Archangel Michael — partly because it was thought to bloom each year on May 8, the day he is said to have appeared in a vision in the 14th century to say that the herb would cure the plague.
The young stems and side-growths can be candied, the stems and leaves may be cooked with apples and rhubarb, while infused leaves — fresh or dry — make a refreshing drink.
Planning the crop
Angelica does best in deep, rich, moist soil in a sunny or partly shaded position. Dig the soil during the winter before sowing.
How much to grow
One or two plants will provide enough angelica for the family, but an extra plant can be grown if you want to save your own seed for next year’s plants.
How to grow angelica
Sow purchased seeds in March or April, in. (12 mm) deep in groups of three or four and about 3 ft (1 m) apart, in the positions where they are to grow. As the seedlings develop, remove all but the strongest in each group.
Alternatively, sow the seeds in a seed bed and transplant the seedlings to their final positions in late autumn or the following March. The plants may not be as large as those grown, without transplanting, where they were sown.
If you keep seeds from one of your own plants, sow them as soon as ripe, and not later than September.
Pests and diseases
Aphids are the pests most likely to occur on angelica.
It is generally disease-free.
Harvesting the stems, roots and leaves
For drying, pick the leaves before flowering, while they are still a fresh green.
If roots are to be cooked, use them in their first autumn before they become woody.
Angelica is not suitable for freezing.
Cooking with angelica
Add slices of raw, peeled stems to salads. Stems and leaves give a novel flavour to stewed fruits, such as apple or rhubarb, or to fruit pies.
Cook the roots as a vegetable.