800px-Archangelica_officinalis_a2

Empty’s comments about Queen Anne’s Lace in the previous post (apparently it’s a wild carrot), led me first to Cow Parsley (we have a lot of that here and I love it despite its reputation as a weed) and then to Garden Angelica, Archangelica officinalis.  The etymology of angelica (according to the English-language Wikipedia article) is that it’s from the Greek arkhangelos, which was used  because it was the angel Gabriel who told of its use as medicine — I suppose it’s mentioned in the bible somewhere.  In Norwegian it’s called kvann and grows (as in the picture above) wild in northern Norway.  Linnaeus, according to English Wikipedia, wrote that the Sami (formerly known as Lapps) used it as a flavouring in reindeer milk. It was brought to Northern Europe from Syria, and seems to have come earlier to Scandinavia than to Britain (a short article in Norwegian Wikipedia says it was used against the plague).  The most thorough article (as always?) seems to be the one by Mrs. Maud Grieve, who writes Botanical.com (I’d like to know more about Mrs Grieve*, does she write it all herself?).  I’m going to plant some angelica next year if I can find it.  I don’t care about its medicinal uses; I quite like it in cakes occasionally.

As soon as I had written this I opened the door of the out-house where I work and standing in front of me was a seven-foot-high Garden Angelica:

angelica 2 August 09

I don’t often get my wishes granted so quickly.  Now I remember I bought it a couple of years ago.  I’d forgotten what it was, but that’s why it’s in with the herbs.  How do you miss something seven feet high?  Lucky me, though.

*Update, thanks to MMcM’s comment, below: Mrs Grieve (1858-1941).

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