Angelica atropurpurea (Angelica)
|Also known as:||Great Angelica, Purple-stemmed Angelica|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; wet meadows, wet ditches, seeps, fens, floodplains|
|Plant height:||6 to 8 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: none MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Convex to round clusters (umbels) 4 to 9 inches across, made up of 20 to 45 smaller round clusters (umbellets) of 20 to 45 flowers each. Flower stalks are about ½ inch long and umbellet stalks are 2 to 4 inches long. The star-shaped flowers are green to whitish, about ¼ inch across, with 5 petals, 5 spidery stamens, a divided style in the center and 5 pointed oval sepals around the base.
Leaves and stems:
Lower leaves are 3 or 4 times compound and very large, up to 2 feet long and as wide, with 3 to 5 leaflets on a branch. Leaflets are up to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, the upper leaves reduced in size, lance elliptic, sometimes with one or two deep lobes, especially the end leaflet. Edges are sharply toothed, surfaces mostly smooth or with fine hairs on the underside.
Fruits are oblong to elliptic, ¼ inch or less in length, flat with thin, winged edges
Angelica is a strong contender for Minnesota's tallest wildflower with an occasional specimen topping out at a whopping 9 feet. It may be mistaken for Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum), which it can be found growing side-by-side, except Angelica atropurpurea is smooth throughout, its small flowers lack the white petals found in Cow Parsnip, and Cow Parsnip has palmately compound leaves with leaflets that are rather broader.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Angelica plant
- more flowers
- Angelica in a seep, with Skunk Cabbage
- Angelica in a wet meadow
- emerging Angelica, with Cow Parsnip
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Seminary Fen, Carver County, Battle Creek Park, Ramsey County, and along the Snake River campground road, Aitkin County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Goodhue, Houston and Ramsey counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?