Giant-sized showstopper

Angelica gigas at Dunedin Botanic Garden. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Angelica gigas at Dunedin Botanic Garden. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Angelica gigas, also known as giant Angelica, is a lesser known but stunning garden plant a real showstopper for any garden.

From midsummer to early autumn, the large aromatic umbels of dark-burgundy flowers are too eye-catching to ignore.

This is a short-lived biennial that produces a large 1m spread of light green leaves in its first year of growth, followed by the stunning flowers in the second year. The flower heads sit dramatically upon 1.5m-tall, red-tinted stalks, providing late season interest to the garden. Its height makes it an excellent feature in the back of a garden bed or for a bold, close encounter consider planting it right up front.

Flying insects of all kinds cannot resist the nectar and pollen-rich flowers. Throughout the flowering season these displays attract a huge abundance of bees, butterflies, and other pollinating visitors, making the garden instantly full of life and activity.

Angelica gigas make excellent cut flowers lasting weeks in a vase. Collect some seed for sowing later or be sure to leave some seedheads intact as the plant will easily self-sow if in a suitable position. This is an easy way to ensure the impactful display will continue for many years to come. The plant prefers some partial shade and moist soil during hot summers but can tolerate a wide range of conditions.

Angelica gigas is in flower now and can be visited in the North Asian borders of the geographical plant collection in the upper garden.

Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden

For further information contact Kyla Mathewson