Ammi majus. This open pollinated variety is the natural species version of False Queen Anne’s Lace. It looks good in almost any setting, adding a touch of naturalistic beauty. The stiff, upright stems bear giant, 15cm (6″) wide umbels of tiny white flowers, and these act as a magnet for beneficial insects. Not only do the flowers attract and feed pollinators, but they also attract a host of predatory insects that will scour the garden looking for pests to eat. Lacewings, ladybirds, hover flies, and parasitoid wasps all take up residence where Bishop’s Flower is planted, and they do a terrific job of minimizing damage from aphids and caterpillars. It’s useful as a cut flower, but the sap from the cut stem can cause skin irritation.
How to Grow Ammi
False Queen Anne’s Lace or Bishop’s Weed are common names for this attractive, naturalistic looking annual flower. Ammi grows stiffly upright stems topped by umbelliferous flowers that are attractive to pollinators and predatory insects. Flower heads can reach 15cm (6″) across, and are lovely in flower arrangements. Read below to find out how to Grow Ammi from seed.
Exposure: Full sun to light shade
Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost. That’s the first to third week in February on the south coast of BC. Transplants can go out 3-4 weeks after last frost. Or direct sow outdoors in early spring when the soil is still cool and a light frost is still a possibility. Ammi can also be direct sown in late autumn. Seeds should germinate in 7-25 days.
Just cover the small seeds. If starting indoors, wrap planted seedling trays or pots in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Then grow in a bright, cool place at 12°-18°C (55°-65°F).
Thin or transplant seedlings to 30cm (12″) apart in richly fertile soil. Ammi prefers cool, moist soil. Water regularly until plants are established, and then only during hot, dry weather.
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