Commonly known as Garden Angelica, Holy Ghost, Wild Celery or Norwegian Angelica.
The flowers have a sweet honey smell. Angelica is a large, rangy plant of northern Europe, that has fresh, pine and citrus notes. Leaf stalks are used in confectionary. All parts of the angelica plant are aromatic and edible. The seeds, and the oil from seeds and roots, contribute to the tastes of various cordials and liqueurs. The young leaves can be chopped for salads and cooking. Fresh stalks can be added to milk puddings, custard and stewed fruits. Young leaves and shoots are used commercially to flavor alcoholic beverages. Angelica root is the main flavoring ingredient of gin, vermouth Benedictine and Chartreuse.
Angelica has the meaning of ‘inspiration’ – this tall and elegant herb is praised in folklore as a wonderful medicinal cure-all remedy. There are many different stories explaining how Angelica got such a holy name. One such story tells of a monk back in 1665 who met an angel in his dreams. The angel told him of a plant that could cure the plague. The monk took the advice and boiled angelica, treacle and nutmeg together into a tea. However, none of the sources mention how successful this treatment was.
Another theory on the origin of the name speculates that the plant derives it name from the fact that Angelica comes into bloom around May 8th, the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel.