All about Angelica (Angelica pachycarpa) – History, Meaning, Facts, Care & More

Facts about Angelica

Angelica pachycarpa, or also known as the Spanish Angelica, is a biennial plant that is becoming a popular addition in any garden. It makes a fabulous addition to any border since it has a creamy-white to greenish-white flowers in flat umbels and very dark and glossy green foliage.

Native to the Iberian Peninsula and naturalized in New Zealand, the Angelica plant has surprised many gardeners with its shiny, bright, and strange foliage. The biannual plant grows its generous clumps of sumptuous leaves in the first year and a floral stem with vast umbels of white flowers.

The Angelica pachycarpa is an architectural plant that needs to be nurtured in a moist spot in soil that is rich in humus and moisture.


History of Angelica

Historically, the Angelica plant was under the protection of Michael the Archangel because it bloomed on, May 8, his feast day. There were also other stories such as the name of the plant was given due to its ability to heal any health conditions. For both the reasons, the plant was greatly used as a defense mechanism against plagues, spells, witches, and evil spirits.


Characteristic of Angelica

Angelica is a stout, short-lived, and fleshy plant. It can grow up to a meter tall and often has dark and glossy green foliage. The flat umbels have a creamy-white to greenish-white flowers and can spread over 10- to 20-cm wide. The hollow stems are grooved and foliage has a faint aniseed color. The base foliage is noticeable petiolate and is two or three pinnate. Additionally, the steam leaves are one to three pinnate and have very short petioles. The fruit can up to 12-mm long, has a pepper-like scent and brown-colored with lightly-colored wings.

The sparkling and large starburst flowers of the Angelica pachycarpa are pollinated by a wide range of insects. The active ingredients of the plants are found in the rhizomes and the roots; the active ingredient is furocoumarins in its tissue that makes the skin sensitive to light.


Use of Angelica

As mentioned above, Angelica is a stunning white flower and one of Iceland’s most cherished herbs. Not only does it look beautiful, but it also is appreciated as nutritious food, an herbal remedy, and a liqueur. The stems and roots can be pickled or boiled and considered a delicacy all over Scandinavia. The stems can be crystallized in sugar for desserts, used to flavor reindeer milk, as well as used as a musical flute. Mostly, you would find Norwegians cooking bread with the roots and the Finns eating the stems that are cooked in hot ash; they would also drink a tea infusion of them.

The seeds and stems of Angelica are also used in liqueurs like chartreuse and vermouth. The aromatic leaves are dried to make hops bitters. Additionally, the fruits can also be used to make gins and absinthes. The seeds are mostly distilled to release a very musky and earthy essential oil that is used in botanical perfumery and beverages.

When it is about herbalism, Angelica pachycarpa is known to be an excellent expectorant (removing mucous from the lungs), stomachic (soothing for the stomach), carminative (relieves gas) and tonic. It is also a blood-purifying remedy and is mostly used for solving respiratory problems like coughs and colds, restlessness, nervousness, runny nose, loss of appetite, circulation problems, and joint pain. At a time, it was even used to treat typhoid.

Scientifically, Angelica plant has been known to demonstrate characteristics like chemopreventive (protection against carcinogens), antiproliferative (inhibiting growth of cancer cells), and anti-mitotic (anti-mutation) properties. The plant protects against ulcer development and is anti-tumor, anti-viral, and anti-microbial.


Angelica Flower Meaning

If you are attracted to Angelica pachycarpa, it could signify that you are interested in forming a deeper bond with everything in life. You might feel tired with anything that feels superficial or flat and yearn for an authentic and deeper connection with people. You look for true intimacy in your romantic relationship as well.

At times, you might feel safer simply remaining on the ground when it comes to experiences and conversations. Or else, you might worry or feel a sense of disengagement that there is no greater meaning to the different events in your life.

Angelica plant might be able to magnify your daily experiences of deeper meaning and interconnectedness that happens in your life. It will enhance your cosmic awareness of unseen protective support or angelic forces. You will be opened to a world of synchronicity and magic, and a feeling of being grateful, lucky, or fortunate. Everything around you will feel rich in meaning and whimsical.


How to Care For Angelica?


You need to ensure that you have a continual supply of the herb annually. This is because Angelica pachycarpa is a short-lived biennial or perennial plant and flowers after two years. After that, it either dies or may hang around for a year or two more.

Planting Angelica indoors is optimum in colder climatic conditions. You need to set out the plants before they grow taller than four inches. This is important because they grow a long taproot and the transplanting process might get harder if they grow larger. The herb can also be started with root division in the spring season.


The most preferable condition to grow Angelica plant is cool weather under a semi-shady location. The shady zone will protect the plant during the hot summertime. You also need to ensure that the soil is fertile, moist and rich in organic matter. If you are looking for the best results, always opt for soil that is slightly acidic. Remember that the Angelica herb is not tolerant to drought and should not be allowed to dry out.


You always need to look out for pests. Some like spider mites, leaf miners, and aphids can be dangerous for the plant. You need to take all the precautions to ensure that your Angelica plant remains free from these pests. Use insecticidal soap or blast them with water.