Ammi visnaga 'Green Mist' is a new variety of Queen Anne's Lace. It has larger, darker green and more mounded umbels than its cousin Ammi majus. With hardier blooms and stronger stems it flowers from June to September the blooms, up to 12cm (5in) across are initially flattened and typically looks green until the flowers begin to open, after which the umbels turn white.
Growing to a height of around 120cm (48in), the statuesque blooms with wonderful fractal flowers appear from July to September. They associate well with both annuals and perennials and make an excellent addition to wildlife gardens, luring bees and butterflies to their nectar rich flowers.
Ammi is one of the best filler-foliage plants you can grow, the delicate, textured flower heads are a flower arrangers dream. Often used for wedding work, the lacy, white flowers are spectacular when used in mixed bouquets or simply arranged in a great cloud of their own. They last up to 10 days in the vase and can also be used dyed or dried.
In the garden, Ammi is a popular garden plant and is used by gardeners to fill foliage space and create a cohesive flower bed and lends a delicate airiness to any sunny or partially shaded border. Ammi has long been a favorite of naturalistic planting schemes yet combines well with stout, robust garden plants such as Cannas and Foxgloves.
Extremely easy to grow on a variety of soils, this annual, non-invasive species is ideal for attracting beneficial insects into the garden. It is good plant for landscaping and can be used in meadows and wildlife gardens, where it is adored by hoverflies and provides a wonderful host plant for butterflies. Flowering will usually continue well into the autumn, even after blossoms have died off and seed pods have started to form.
Sowing: Sow March to May and/or late August to September
Ammi majus forms larger, more prolific plants from an autumn sowing. It tends to grow best when propagated by seed sown in situ in spring.
For cut flowers throughout the summer, sow at intervals from March, 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date, to early June. Multiple successions throughout the season is advised for continual harvest. The plants take approximately 100 to 110 days to mature and bloom
Seeds can be sown in pots or trays indoors, but as with most of the Umbelliferae/Apiaceae (Carrot family) they have a long taproot which can be damaged when transplanting so care must be taken.
Sow 6 to 8 weeks before planting out. When first true leaves appear, transplant into larger containers. Harden off and transplant out after last frost.
Sow where they are to flower once temperatures are around 15 to 20°C (59 to 68°F). Surface sow to no more than 1mm (1/8in) deep. Sow thinly in drills 30cm (12in) apart in well-cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Lightly cover seed
Water ground regularly, especially in dry periods. Germination will normally occur within 7 to 21 days at temperatures around 68 to 72°F (20 to 22°C). When large enough to handle, thin out seedlings to 20 to 30cm (8 to 12in) apart.
Plant in full sun or very partial shade and a moist but well drained soil. Ammi is not fussy about the soil type as long as it is not extremely wet. With less organic material and water the plants will still grow but will not spread as much.
Provide support if exposed to windy areas. Stake plants when they are about 10cm (4in) tall with twiggy hazel stems. Plants will reseed themselves if a few heads are left in the garden to mature.
Cut the flowers in the morning when approximately 80% of the flowers are open. Flowers should be crisp white with only slight green tint and no hint of pollen shed.
For dried flowers, air dry flowers for two to three weeks in a dark, dry place. Darkness is necessary so the white flowers do not turn brown.
Beds and borders, City, Cottage/Informal, Flower Arranging, Low Maintenance, Mediterranean, Wildflower, Wildlife
Ammi visnaga, known as Khella is one of the oldest herbs. It was originally cultivated by the ancient Egyptians who used it to treat many ailments, including urinary tract diseases. It was also used in the Middle Ages as a diuretic.
Care must be taken when cutting stems, as the sap can cause skin irritation that can be very serious and painful. The photoactive compounds from Ammi can cause blistering to normal skin when exposed to the sun. Wash the skin area that is exposed to the sap, using soap and water.
Ammi visnaga originates from the Nile delta and was used therapeutically by the ancient Egyptians, as is documented in Eber’s papyrus.
This member of the Apiaceae, the carrot family is cultivated in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. There are now also large plantations in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, the southern States of the USA and the former Soviet Union.
The name Ammi was used for the plant early on by Dioscorides. The word comes from the Greek term ammos meaning 'sand' and refers to the plant’s habitat.
Common names include Bullwort, Laceflower and Bishop’s Flower. The common name of Bishopsflower and occasionally Bishops weed, originated in the Latin bis acutum meaning 'two pointed' referring to the seed heads.
Old Latin names for the plant are Cuminum alexandrium, C. aethiopicum and C. regium - referring to Alexandrine-, Ethiopian- and Royal Cumin respectively.
It has the synonyms Visnaga daucoides and Daucus visnaga and is sometimes confused with the wildflower Daucus carota which was originally called 'Queen Anne's Lace'.
Ammi visnaga is commonly known as Ammi, Greater Ammi, Picktooth, False Queen Anne's Lace, honeyplant, Khella,and Spanish toothpick. The Arabic name 'khella' is popularly used throughout the Middle East and occasionally in Europe.
The plant’s dried umbels have been used as toothpicks in Egypt and in Spain (apparently spread there by the Moors). They are still sold as toothpicks today in markets in the Middle East and the Far East.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 1 gram Average Seed Count 1,200 Seeds Family Apiaceae Genus Ammi Species visnaga Synonym Visnaga daucoides, Daucus visnaga Common Name Queen Anne's Lace, (Syn Visnaga daucoides) Other Common Names Bishop's Flower Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers White umbels Natural Flower Time June to September Height 90 to 120cm (36 to 48in) Spread 40 to 45cm (15 to 18 in) Position Full sun or partial shade Soil Moist, well-drained, fertile soil is best.