Herb: Purplestem Angelica

Latin name: Angelica atropurpurea

Synonyms: Archangelica atropurpurea

Family: Umbelliferae

Medicinal use of Purplestem Angelica:

A tea made from the leaves is carminative and stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of colds, rheumatism etc. The seed and roots can also be used and have a stronger effect. The plant has similar properties to angelica, A. archangelica, though it is inferior since it is less aromatic. The root is carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, sedative, stomachic and tonic. An infusion has been used in the treatment of fevers, colds, flatulent colic and other stomach disorders, obstructed menses and as a general tonic for women. Externally it has been used as a gargle for sore throats and mouths and as a poultice for broken bones, swellings etc. It has also been used, both internally and externally, as a treatment for rheumatism.

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Rich thickets, bottomlands and swamps.

Edible parts of Purplestem Angelica:

Young shoots and leaf stalks - raw or cooked. When boiled in two lots of water they form a vegetable that strongly resembles celery. They can be peeled and eaten in salads or blanched and cooked like asparagus. The stems can also be candied and used as a sweetmeat. Root, leafstalks and stems - candied.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe since the seed only has a short viability. Seed can also be sown in the spring, though germination rates will be lower. It requires light for germination. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in the spring. The seed can also be sow in situ as soon as it is ripe.

Cultivation of Purplestem Angelica:

Rich thickets, bottomlands and swamps.

Known hazards of Angelica atropurpurea:

All members of this genus contain furocoumarins, which increase skin sensitivity to sunlight and may cause dermatitis.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.