Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
Jaimie Sweetman is Head Gardener of the Edible Forest located on the Yarra Valley Estate in Dixons Creek. Tours of the Edible Forest, often led by Jaimie, take place on Fridays and Saturdays – read more and book your place on a future tour.
Angelica (Angelica archangelica) is in the Apiaceae family. Also in this family is celery and angelica is sometimes referred to as wild celery.
All parts of the plant are edible. The stems can be eaten raw in salads or prepared in the same way you use celery or asparagus in stews or stir-fries. The leaves are also edible too but can be quite bitter; we dry them and use them in herbal teas, with some of the listed health benefits being treating heartburn, respiratory issues, runny nose, benefit sleeping and reducing nervousness.
The roots are traditionally used in Chinese medicine where they are dried and ground up.
The other great thing about having angelica in the garden is that it attracts beneficial bugs, including bees and hover flies. Also, due the strong tap root as they self-seed around the garden, they help break up the soil.
A true biennial, the first year there is lots of leafy lush growth followed by umbel flower heads the next year. They are prolific in seeds that you can collect or just let them sow themselves around the garden as we do.
If you are looking for a low maintenance useful plant that is also edible, angelica would be a good choice.