This attractive biennial is producing umbels of many tiny flowers on the Systematic Beds.
A member of the carrot family, Smyrnium olusatrum is one of eight species of branched biennials or perennials occurring in Europe, Africa and west Asia. This one is a stout biennial growing to 1.5m in height, and producing umbels of cream-green flowers against glossy pinnate foliage. It is reputedly of questionable hardiness, though can be widely found as a naturalised species along the hedgerows of East Anglia. Commonly referred to Alexanders, this species originates from the Mediterranean, where it was used in the treatment of various conditions including scurvy, toothache, headache, cuts, and bruises, and where it gained the name ‘parsley of Alexandria’.