TYPE: robust annual. HEIGHT: 2OOcm AROMA: pervading aromatic odour like musk/juniper. TASTE: root sweet, warm aromatic bitter, musky.
ROOTS: long, spindle shaped thick, fleshy. Beset with many long descending rootlets. Some 3lb >. Fresh yeIlow grey epidermis, honey coloured grey brown, wrinkled.
STEMS: hollow, striate, green. Resinous gum.
UMBELS : compound, large. Rays 35-42, 4-8cm subequal, puberulent, Peduncle >.than rays, glabrous. Hermaphrodite.
LEAVES: large,.2-3 pinnate, primary pinnae shortly stalked Lobes sessile decurrent, 16cm, lobed or deeply toothed, terminal 3-fid margin & apex of both surfaces. Petioles of lowest leaves long, with. inflated base. Upper leaves with strongly inflated petiole, lamina small or absent. BRACTS: absent. Bracteoles mainly linear.
FLOWERS sepals small, styles form a stylopodium. Pollination by flies, beettles.
FRUIT: 5.5-6mm, Ovate-oblong, or broadly elliptic dorsally compressed, smooth. Commisure narrow. Mericarps with prominent, acute dorsal ridges & winged lateral ridges, corky. Wings narrower than mericarp. Carpophore present. Vittae solitary. Pedicels 10-15mm minutely papillose Style 2 x > than stylopdium. Stigma capitate. 2n=22.
Gale, Norman, 1862-1942: HAVE YOU CAUGHT THE MUSIC FALLING FROM THE COUNTRY CALLING OF THE FLOWERS? [from A Flight of Fancies: By Norman Gale ]
Cheddar Pink and Snow-in-Summer,
David's Harp and Bush-to-Burn,
Orange Stonecrop (glorious comer!)
Goat's Rue, Musk, Angelica,
Witch's Thimble, Seaside Oat,
Robin in his Ragged Coat,
Cobweb Houseleek, Feverfew,
Lady's Slipper, soaked in dew,
Self-Heal (for a trifling hurt),
European angelica is a biennial or perennial herb native to northern and eastern Europe (Leung and Foster, 1996) and parts of Asia (Budavari, 1996; Wichtl and Bisset, 1994). Its natural habitat includes Iceland, Scotland, Holland, and Lapland (Grieve, 1979; Leung and Foster, 1996). In Germany, it is cultivated in the states of Bavaria and Th ringen (Lange and Schippmann, 1997). The material of commerce is obtained from northern Europe, including the United Kingdom (BHP, 1996), almost entirely from plants cultivated in the Netherlands, Poland, and Germany, and to a lesser extent from Belgium, Italy, and the Czech Republic (Wichtl and Bisset, 1994).
Ingelow, Jean, 1820-1897: THE PARSONAGE GARDEN. [from A Rhyming Chronicle (1850)]
Within these walls has much been done, and much has been effac'd,
For each successor makes a change in what the last had trac'd:
Old-fashion'd plants and flowers are thrown aside in high disdain,
And dwellers next to these perhaps will alter it again.
When the grave old Friars went two and two along the broad straight walks;
When the orange lily and the flag uprear'd their stately stalks,
By beds where herb-angelica and feathery fennels grew,
Sweet marjoram, and basil green, and mint, and balm, and rue---
O they little thought, as side by side, with sleek and sober pace,
They talk'd of holy Mother Church, and of our Lady's grace,
That on a day their garden trim so gay a dress would don,
And children's feet would tread its walks, when they were dead and gone.
History (all references to therapeutic and medicinal uses in this article are for cultural interest only and not meant as a guide to treatment for disease)
Its virtues are praised by old writers, and the name itself, as well as the folk-lore of all North European countries and nations, testify to the great antiquity of a belief in its merits as a protection against contagion, for purifying the blood, and for curing every conceivable malady: it was held a sovereign remedy for poisons agues and all infectious maladies. In Couriand, Livonia and the low lakelands of Pomerania and East Prussia, wild-growing Angelica abounds; there, in early summer-time, it has been the custom among the peasants to march into the towns carrying the Angelica flower-stems and to offer them for sale, chanting some ancient ditty in Lettish words, so antiquated as to be unintelligible even to the singers themselves. The chanted words and the tune are learnt in childhood, and may be attributed to a survival of some Pagan festival with which the plant was originally associated. After the introduction of Christianity, the plant became linked in the popular mind with some archangelic patronage, and associated with the spring-time festival of the Annunciation. According to one legend, Angelica was revealed in a dream by an angel to cure the plague. Another explanation of the name of this plant is that it blooms on the day of Michael the Archangel (May 8, old style), and is on that account a preservative against evil spirits and witchcraft: all parts of the plant were believed efficacious against spells and enchantment. It was held in such esteem that it was called 'The Root of the Holy Ghost.'
Angelica may be termed a perennial herbaceous plant. It is biennial only in the botanical sense of that term, that is to say, it is neither annual, nor naturally perennial: the seedlings make but little advance towards maturity within twelve months, whilst old plants die off after seeding once, which event may be at a much more remote period than in the second year of growth. Only very advanced seedlings flower in their second year, and the third year of growth commonly completes the full period of life. There is another species, Angelica heterocarpa, a native of Spain, which is credited as truly perennial; it flowers a few weeks later than the biennial species, and is not so ornamental in its foliage.
Condiment; Leaves; Root; Seed; Stem.
Leaves - raw or cooked[2, 4, 14, 27, 37, 52]. A liquorice-like flavour, they can be used as a flavouring in mixed salads[K]. They are also used to sweeten tart fruits[K].
Stalks and young shoots - cooked or raw[2, 37]. The stalks should be peeled, they can be used like celery. They can also be used to sweeten tart fruits and to make jam. They are often crystallised in sugar and used as sweets and cake decorations. The stems are best harvested in the spring.
An essential oil is obtained from the root and seeds, it is used as a food flavouring[46, 57, 100, 183].
Root - cooked.
Seed - used as a flavouring in liqueurs such as Chartreuse.
A tea can be made from the leaves, seed or roots.
An essential oil from the root and seeds is used in perfumery and as a food flavouring[4, 46, 57, 100]. The oil from the seeds has a musk-like aroma and is often used to flavour liqueurs. The dried root contains 0.35% essential oil, the seed about 1.3%. Yields of the essential oil vary according to location, plants growing at higher altitudes have higher yields with a better aroma.
To Preserve Angelica. Cut in pieces 4 inches long. Steep for 12 hours in salt and water. Put a layer of cabbage or cauliflower leaves in a clean brass pan, then a layer of Angelica, then another layer of leaves and so on, finishing with a layer of leaves on the top. Cover with water and vinegar. Boil slowly till the Angelica becomes quite green, then strain and weigh the stems. Allow 1 lb. loaf sugar to each pound of stems. Put the sugar in a clean pan with water to cover; boil 10 minutes and pour this syrup over the Angelica. Stand for 12 hours. Pour off the syrup, boil it up for 5 minutes and pour it again over the Angelica. Repeat the process, and after the Angelica has stood in the syrup 12 hours, put all on the fire in the brass pan and boil till tender. Then take out the pieces of Angelica, put them in a jar and pour the syrup over them, or dry them on a sieve and sprinkle them with sugar: they then form candy. Another recipe (from Francatelli's Cook's Guide):
'Cut the tubes or stalks of Angelica into sixinch lengths; wash them, then put them into a copper preserving-pan with hot syrup; cover the surface with vine-leaves, and set the whole to stand in the larder till next day. The Angelica must then be drained on a sieve, the vine-leaves thrown away, half a pint of water added to the syrup, in which, after it has been boiled, skimmed, and strained into another pan, and the copper-pan has been scoured clean, both the Angelica and the boiling syrup are to be replaced and the surface covered with fresh vine-leaves, and again left to stand in this state till the next day- this process must be repeated 3 or 4 days running: at the end of which time the Angelica will be sufficiently green and done through, and should be put in jars without breaking the tubes. After the syrup has been boiled and skimmed, fill up the jars, and when they are become cold, cover them over with bladder and paper, and let them be kept in a very cool temperature.'
Another way of preserving Angelica:
Choose young stems, cut them into suitable lengths, then boil until tender. When this stage is reached, remove from the water, and strip off the outer skin, then return to the water and simmer slowly until the whole has become very green. Dry the stems and weigh them, allowing one pound of white sugar to every pound of Angelica. The boiled stalks should be laid in an earthenware pan and the sugar sprinkled over them, allowing the whole to stand for a couple of days- then boil all together. When well boiling, remove from the fire and turn into a colander to drain off the superfluous syrup. Take a little more sugar and boil to a syrup again, then throw in the Angelica, and allow it to remain for a few minutes, and finally spread on plates in a cool oven to dry.
If a small quantity of the leaf-stalks of Angelica be cooked with 'sticks' of rhubarb, the flavour of the compound will be acceptable to many who do not relish plain rhubarb. The quantity of Angelica used may be according to circumstances, conditions and individual taste. If the stems are young and juicy, they may be treated like rhubarb and cut up small, the quantity used being in any proportion between 5 and 25 per cent. If the stalks are more or less fully developed, or even rather old and tough, they can be excellently used in economically small quantities for flavouring large quantities of stewed rhubarb, or of rhubarb jam, being added in long lengths before cooking and removed before sending to table. The confectioner's candied Angelica may be similarly utilized, but is expensive and not so good, whilst the home-garden growth in spring-time of fresh Angelica, with thick, stout leaf-stalks, and of still stouter flowering stems, is very easy to use and cheap. If this flowering stem be cut whilst very tender, early in May, later leafstalks will be plentifully available for use with the latter part of the rhubarb crop.
A well-known jam maker and confectioner, the late Mr. Robertson, of Chelsea, won considerable reputation by reason of his judicious blending of Angelica in jam-making and its combination in other confections, including temperance beverages. A pleasant form of Hop Bitters is made by taking 1 OZ. of dried Angelica herb, combined with 1 OZ. of Holy Thistle, and 1/2 oz. of hops, infused with 3 pints of boiling water and strained off when cold, a wineglassful being taken several times a day before meals, forming a good appetiser.
A delicious liqueur, preserving all the virtues of the plant, is made in this way: 1 OZ. of the freshly gathered stem of Angelica is chopped up and steeped in 2 pints of good brandy during five days 1 OZ. of skinned bitter almonds reduced to a pulp being added. The liquid is then strained through fine muslin and a pint of liquid sugar added to it.
Angelica is used in the preparation of Vermouth and Chartreuse.
Though the tender leaflets of the blades of the leaves have sometimes been recommended as a substitute for spinach, they are too bitter for the general taste, but the blanched mid-ribs of the leaf, boiled and used as celery, are delicious, and Icelanders eat both the stem and the roots raw, with butter. The taste of the juicy raw stems is at first sweetish and slightly bitter in the mouth and then gives a feeling of glowing warmth. In Lapland, the inhabitants regard the stalks of Angelica as a great delicacy. These are gathered before flowering, the leaves being stripped off and the peel removed, the remainder is eaten with much relish. The Finns eat the young stems baked in hot ashes, and an infusion of the dried herb is drunk either hot or cold: the flavour of the decoction is rather bitter, the colour is a pale greenish grey and the odour greatly resembles China Tea. It was formerly a practice in this country to put a portion of the fresh herb into the pot in which fish is boiled.
The Norwegians make bread of the roots.