Everything You Need to Know About Angelica Flower Meaning, Popular Types, and How to Grow at Home

Angelica, also known as wild celery or garden angelica, is a biennial and perennial herb that’s cultivated for both ornamental and culinary uses. Historically, angelica has also been prized for its medicinal applications, and some cultures believe the plant possesses magical properties. Native to northern climes, angelica grows up to 6 feet tall, with uniquely scented foliage that tastes of licorice. The Angelica flower blooms in its second year, producing large, green-white blossoms.

Table of Contents:


Angelica Flowers — The Essentials

Angelica belongs to the Apiaceae family. Native to Asia and Europe, plants are grown for ornamental, culinary and medicinal uses. The name comes from Greek for “archangel” (arkhangelos); folklore says angels announced their medicinal properties. In the language of flowers, angelica means inspiration.


About The Angelica Flower

About The Angelica Flower

The Angelica Flower – Family, Genus, and Taxonomy

The Angelica genus is a member of the Apiaceae family; this large family of flowering plants is also known as the umbellifers or carrot family. There are about 3,700 species across more than 430 genera, including commonly grown plants such as carrots, celery, coriander, dill, fennel, and parsley.

Botanical Characteristics, Colors, and Fragrances

Botanical Characteristics, Colors, and Fragrances

Angelica is a biennial or short-lived perennial. In most cases, it produces only a clump of foliage in its first year. Come the second year, it blooms, produces seeds, and dies.

The very popular and commonly found Angelica archangelica grows a stalk that’s from 4 to 6 feet tall. In early summer, it blooms with globular, green-white umbrels up to 6 inches in diameter. Flowers turn to pale yellow seed in late summer. Its yellow-green foliage is compound and may grow from 2 to 3 feet long.

Angelica flowers and foliage have a distinctive, pleasant aroma. Some say it smells like a mixture of juniper and musk.

Etymological Meaning

Angelica flowers’ official name — Angelica archangelica — comes from the Greek word for archangel, or arkhangelos. European folklore says that the archangel Michael showed the plant to a monk in a dream, and claimed it would cure the plague.

What Regions are Angelica Flowers Native To?

Angelica flowers are native to Europe, Greenland, Iceland, western Siberia, and the Himalayas. The plants are cultivated in temperate and cool regions around the world for their culinary, ornamental and medicinal uses.

When are Angelica Flowers in Season?

Angelica plants produce foliage in their first year. In their second year, they bloom in early summer, and produce seeds in late summer.


Popular Angelica Flower Types, Species, and Cultivars

There are about 60 species in the Angelica genus. Most are perennial or biennials flowering plants and herbs, indigenous to temperate and even sub-Arctic regions of the world.

Species and cultivars include:


Uses and Benefits of Angelica Flowers

Uses and Benefits of Angelica Flowers

Angelica in Herbalism and Medicine

Angelica played an important role in folk medicine traditions. Historical records show widespread use of the herb in Europe in the 17th century. The plant was used to cure a number of ailments, such as toothaches and animal bites. Necklaces of angelica leaves were worn to ward off sickness and witchcraft, and it was thought that angelica could cure the plague.

In Chinese traditional medicine, dong quai (A. sinensis), also known as female ginseng, is used to treat menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause.

In holistic medicine, angelica is used to treat sore throats, mouth ulcers, and digestive issues. It’s also used to treat bronchitis, arthritis, and even speed healing of broken bones.

Scientific research indicates that the plant may have anti-tumor, anti-metatastic, and neuroprotective properties.

Angelica Flowers in Food and Drink 

Angelica Flowers in Food and Drink

The leaves, stems, and roots of Angelica archangelica have long been used for culinary purposes. Many cultures use the plants’ roots and leaves to make tea.

With a taste reminiscent of licorice, foliage can also be eaten raw in salads. Stems can be peeled — like celery — and eaten raw or cooked. Stems can also be crystallized and turned into candy or used to decorate baked goods.

Angelica seeds and oils have long been used as a flavoring. The liquor Chartreuse, made in France for centuries, gets color and flavor from angelica seeds.

Until the 20th century, wild angelica was grown as a vegetable in parts of Europe. Stems were eaten raw, while foliage was added to soups and stews or boiled with milk.

In regions of India, A. glauca is used to flavor curries and dal. In the western Himalayans, the roots and seeds of chora/smooth angelica (A. nuristanica) are used to make an aromatic condiment and added into spice mixtures.

Toxicity and Bee Friendliness

Good news, Angelica is not known to be toxic to humans or pets when ingested, though some people experience mild skin irritation from stems and foliage.

Angelica flowers attract pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.


Angelica Flower Meaning & Symbolism

Angelica Flower Meaning & Symbolism

Common Angelica Flower Colors and their Meaning & Symbolism

Most angelica species bloom with green-white flowers. Some varieties blossom in shades of white or pink.

In the language of flowers, angelica is associated with inspiration. Giving the gift of angelica flowers means that you’re hoping to inspire and encourage someone.

Angelica plays a role in many cultures. In European folklore, it’s associated with angels and protection against witchcraft. During the days of witch-hunting in Europe and Colonial America, women would plant angelica in their gardens to prove they weren’t witches.

In Lapland, the Sami people use dried angelica to make a reed instrument known as a fadno.

Several indigenous North American tribes used angelica for ritual purposes.


Suitable Gifting Occasions for Angelica Flowers

Suitable Gifting Occasions for Angelica Flowers

Angelica flowers are associated with inspiration and encouragement. They make an ideal gift for someone who’s going through a rough patch, or who needs to feel inspired.

The flowers’ unique fragrance makes them a welcome addition to floral arrangements for birthdays and congratulation gifts. They’re also an appropriate flower for co-workers and other professional acquaintances.


How to Grow and Care for Angelica Flowers at Home

How to Grow and Care for Angelica Flowers at Home

What Growing Zones are Suitable for Angelica Flowers?

Angelica are native to northern temperate climates. When cultivated for ornamental purposes, angelica grow in USDA zones 5 to 7.

Where Should I Plant Angelica Flowers?

When growing in the wild, angelica thrives in moist, cool spots with dappled shade or partial sun. In landscapes, they look wonderful at the back of flower beds, thanks to their dramatic height and bold umbrels of flowers.

These large plants need room to spread, so allow for plenty of spacing between plants. Consider growing angelica in water gardens, wet meadows, or along pond or stream banks. They will do well in herb gardens or beds, as long as their moisture needs are met.

When considering where to plant, remember that angelica is a short-lived perennial or biennial. In most cases, the plant produces foliage the first year, then blooms and dies in its second year. Though they may live for one or two more years, they generally don’t flower again.

You can grow angelica in containers, but keep the plants’ large size in mind. Choose containers that at least 10 inches deep and 15 inches wide.

Soil, Light, Watering, and Fertilizing Considerations

Angelica prefers moist soil and can tolerate wet conditions. Don’t let plants not dry out. Choose rich, slightly acidic soil.

Plant in full sun in northern regions, and in dappled shade or partial sun in more temperate climates.

During growing season, fertilize once per month with an all-purpose fertilizer.

How to Care for Fresh Cut Angelica Flowers

After cutting, dip stems in about an inch of boiling water. Hold there for 10 seconds, then place stems into deep, cool water. Plug any hollow stems with a small piece of cotton.


Wrap Up

Angelica flowers bring a unique fragrance and dramatic look to floral arrangements and gardens. They’re an ideal way to offer inspiration and encouragement to someone who’s feeling low. With their many culinary and medicinal uses, it’s no surprise that angelica flowers have been popular across cultures for centuries.


Angelica Flowers FAQ: 

Angelica played an important role in folk medicine traditions. The plant has been used to cure a number of ailments, such as toothaches and animal bites. Necklaces of angelica leaves were worn to ward off sickness and witchcraft, and it was thought that angelica could cure the plague.

In Chinese traditional medicine, dong quai (A. sinensis), also known as female ginseng, is used to treat menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause.

In holistic medicine, angelica is used to treat sore throats, mouth ulcers, and digestive issues. It’s also used to treat bronchitis, arthritis, and even speed healing of broken bones.

Angelica is a biennial or short-lived perennial. In most cases, it produces only a clump of foliage in its first year. In its second year, it blooms, produces seeds, and dies. In early summer, it blooms with globular, green-white umbrels up to 6 inches in diameter. Flowers turn to pale yellow seed in late summer. Its yellow-green foliage is compound and may grow from 2 to 3 feet long.

Angelica flowers and foliage have a distinctive, pleasant aroma. Some say it smells like a mixture of juniper and musk.

Angelica thrives in moist, cool spots with dappled shade or partial sun. In landscapes, they look lovely at the back of flower beds, thanks to their dramatic height and bold umbrels of flowers.

Angelica is not known to be toxic to humans or pets when ingested, though some people experience mild skin irritation from stems and foliage. The leaves, stems, and roots of Angelica archangelica have long been used for culinary purposes and in essential oils.


Petal Republic’s Flower and Plant Guides:

Looking for a particular stem or in need of some inspiration on the best blooms for a certain occasion? Check out Petal Republic’s expert guides to Roses, Acanthus, Lilies, Irises, Tulips, Orchids, Carnations, Gerbera Daisies, Gladiolus, Bluebells, Camellia, Coreopsis, and Peonies.  


Author

I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe.

Comments are closed.