The Angelica flower is a lovely and nutritious herb that symbolizes protection, inspiration, and encouragement. Along with the angelica flower meaning, these angelica herbs – also called wild celery – have many culinary uses. Angelica plants prefer temperate cold and wet conditions. But garden angelica can add dimension to your landscape, even if your yard stays flooded.
Learn more about angelica plant identification and what is angelica plants by reading this guide on the angelica plant.
About the Angelica Flower
The Angelica plant – Angelica pachycarpa (Spanish Angelica) – is a member of the Apiaceae – carrot (umbellifers) family, containing around 3,700 plants split into over 430 genera.
There are around 60 species of flowering herbs and plants in the Angelica genus. The name comes from arkhangelos, the Greek word for archangel.
History and Origin
These plants get their name Angelica from European folklore of Michael – the archangel. The legend goes that Michael visited a monk in his dreams to show him the cure to the plague in the form of the Angelica flower.
These cold-natured flowers are found around the globe, native to Greenland, Europe, Iceland, the Himalayas, and western Siberia. They grow best in cool, temperate climates, used for medicinal, ornamental, and culinary purposes.
Angelica has a couple of other names, like garden angelica and wild celery. And the botanical name Angelica archangelica means archangel.
You may also hear the flower referred to as ground ash, masterwort, archangel, or holy ghost root.
Angelica plants form on stalks, growing four to six feet in height. They have dark glossy green foliage that grows compound 2 to 3-foot length.
Your plants produce globular, greenish-white to cream umbels that grow up to 6” in diameter in early summer. And by late summer, the flowers turn into light yellow seeds.
The foliage and flowers produce a pleasant, noticeable aroma that blends musk and juniper. It also has brown 12mm fruits with a peppery scent and light-colored wings.
Angelica Flower Care
Angelica plants grow well at the back of herb beds and gardens with dappled to partial shade for temperate climates or, in northern regions, full sun.
Or you can plant them along the banks of streams or ponds or in wet meadows or water gardens. If you’re planting in containers, you’ll need a minimum of 15” wide and 10” deep.
They do best in moist – even wet – soil and cannot tolerate drying out. The soil should be slightly acidic and rich. Fertilize your plants once a month using an all-purpose fertilizer in the growing center.
Uses Throughout History
The Angelica flower has a strong significance in folk medicine, with records going back to the 17th century widespread use as an herb in Europe.
This plant cured many ailments like animal bites and toothaches. Moreover, a necklace made from the leaves was thought to keep away witchcraft and sickness.
Angelica also plays a role in holistic medicine, treating digestive issues, mouth ulcers, sore throats, arthritis, and bronchitis. It was even thought to speed up the process of broken bone healing.
And some scientific research suggests that the Angelica plant might contain neuroprotective, anti-tumor, and anti-metastatic properties.
The Angelica plant is also a significant component in culinary dishes, with a taste similar to licorice. All parts of the plant – stems, roots, and leaves – are edible. Leaves and roots can make tea. At the same time, you can eat the foliage raw like a salad.
You can prepare the stems in multiple ways, whether you peel them like celery and eat them raw or cook them. Or you can turn the branches into candy by crystallizing them. You can also use the stems to decorate baked goods.
Oils and seeds from Angelica have served as flavoring and coloring, like with the French liquor – Chartreuse – which dates back centuries.
Wild angelica grew as a vegetable in Europe until the 20th century. The foliage went into stews and soups or added to boiled milk, while the stems were a raw snack.
Angelica glauca is a flavoring for dal and curries in India. At the same time, the seeds and roots of the chora and smooth angelica – A. nuristanica – are used for spice mixtures and condiments.
Angelica Flower Symbolism
There are a few different Angelica flower symbolisms that you should understand.
Angelica is a popular flower used to represent protection. It was often used in protection charms and spells. It’s said to ward away evil spirits and bring good fortune.
You can burn the leaves for protection spells, soak in a bath with an ounce of leaves to get rid of spells and hexes cast on you.
And growing these plants by your front door and on your front fence line gets rid of negativity while attracting positive vibrations.
You can put a dried Angelica root under the inner soles of your shoes to give you protection while traveling. It will also attract the right type of people.
Love and Devotion
The Angelica flower can also be a symbolic flower to give to a soul mate or twin flame to express your devotion and love.
When you carry dried Angelica flowers in a pouch, you get protection from wicked people and mischievous spirits.
The smell of an Angelica plant can also boost healing. Take deep breaths of the Angelica aroma to relieve anxiety and depression. It may also help clear emotional trauma.
Adding an Angelica flower to your home office can boost your active creativity and commitment and promote inspiration.
The Angelica flower has many cultural significances. For example, it’s been used by several North American indigenous tribes to perform rituals.
And in Lapland, Scandinavia, the indigenous Sami people make a Fadno – a reed instrument made with dried angelica.
In Colonial America and Europe, during the days of witch-hunting, women planted angelica in their gardens to prove they were not witches.
Finally, European folklore says that the Angelica weed has associations with angels and protects a person against witchcraft.
Angelica Flower FAQ
Find out more about the Angelica flower with these commonly asked questions.
When Should You Give Someone an Angelica Flower?
Because Angelica flowers have associations with encouragement and inspiration, you can use them to inspire someone or help them through a rough patch. You can also use them for birthday or congratulation bouquets.
What Does an Angelica Flower Tattoo Represent?
An Angelica flower tattoo can represent protection and inspiration. It’s an excellent choice for artists who need a constant source of creative encouragement.
Are Angelica Flowers Poisonous?
Angelica flowers are not poisonous when ingested by pets or humans. However, the foliage and stems can cause mild skin irritation for some people.`
Are Angelica Flowers Annuals or Perrenials?
Angelica flowers classify as biennials (short-lived perennials) that take two years to complete their life cycle. In the first year, the plant produces clump foliage. In the second year, it flowers, which forms seeds, then dies.
Is Angelica the same as Hemlock?
Although Angelica shares similar features to Hemlock, they are not the same plant or related. Hemlock is a dangerous toxic plant, while Angelica has many medicinal and culinary uses.
The powerful and fragrant Angelica herb symbolizes inspiration, protection, devotion, love, and commitment. These plants are useful when grown for ornamental looks in gardens or when used for cooking or medicine. And they don’t require perfect weather and conditions to grow, making them excellent for wet, cool climates.