Apiaceae, the carrot family, is a huge family of annual, biennial and perennial plants with a global distribution, Apiaceae is characterised by its distinctive inflorescence - the umbel, which gave the family its former name of Umbelliferae. From familiar foods, such as carrot and parsnip, to the striking architecture of the ornamental Eryngium and Bupleurum, to toxic and invasive weeds like Giant Hogweed, the family is rich in variety and uses.
Our collections of Umbels includes some of the most attractive and yet easy to grow varieties for general planting in the garden.
Myrrhis odorata is commonly known as 'Sweet Cicely'. A plant worth having as it just has something about it!
Foliage dies down in winter, but in the spring it produces soft, hairy, pale green leaves with odd splashes of white.
Flowers are 'typical' cow parsley type, small umbels of white during the summer. It also produces spindle shaped fruits that are green in summer turning to pale brown in winter. When brushing past the plant in the garden it releases an aromatic scent similar to aniseed. Prefers part shade, in a fertile, moist but well drained soil.
Cenolophium denudatum, or Baltic Parsley is a an upright herbaceous perennial which produces flattened sprays of tiny greeny-white flowers on long stems above mid green fern-like leaves from mid-summer through to autumn. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies and add a touch of class to any garden design. Cenolophium denudatum is a very adaptable plant, growing in most soil conditions, in full sun, partial shade and even full shade. Similar in many ways to Queen Anne’s Lace, this attractive perennial reaches more than a metre (3ft) tall.
Astrantia major 'Shaggy'
Astrantia major 'Shaggy' is an herbaceous perennial to 75cm, with deeply divided leaves and branched stems bearing compact heads of very showy greenish-white flowers surrounded by narrow, green-tipped white or pinkish bracteoles. Sometimes also known as Astrantia major 'Margery Fish' and Astrantia major subsp. involucrata 'Margery Fish'.
Astrantia major 'Shaggy' flowers in June and July and the seed heads are an attractive feature in the autumn. Grow in moist soil in sun or partial shade.
Eryngium eburneum is a very exotic looking Eryngium sea holly which provides excellent bold form and texture to the garden. Resembles a Yucca when not in flower as it forms the same dense clumps of neat, narrow, sword-shaped, spiny but not too painful leaves! In late spring it begins to form tall stems which carry branching heads tipped with thimble shaped clusters of white flowers. Easy to grow. Prefers full sun with moist but well drained soil. Tender in frost. Height 1.5m, spread 0.6m.
Selinum wallichianum rises later in the spring than most perennials. But, once it is ready to re-grow, it spreads out its basal leaves to form mats of fine foliage. Each leaf is intricately divided. Strong ribbed stems then start to push up, heavily endowed with more fretted leaves, making tiered layers of lace. The stems branch but the tiered effect is maintained. During late summer, the flower buds emerge, inverted and cradled by the supporting pinky-bronze stems. Each flower head becomes a plateau composed of a number of smaller florets, which in turn are made up of a myriad of tiny flowers.
Selinum carvifolia is an outstanding architectural plant with large, flat, dense, creamy umbels.Selinum carvifolium has a reputation for reliability and longevity and looks great planted amongst ornamental grasses, planted in more‘wild’ effect gardens, or just to bring some class to the Herbaceous Border. Another great plant to attract bees and butterflies into the garden and if content will naturalise moderately. The flowers are a magnet for bees and are deliciously scented.