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FutureStarrA Sweet Cicely Plant
If you love a good minty sea breeze, you have to try the sweet cicely plant in your garden.Myrrhis odorata is a tall herbaceous perennial plant growing to 2 m [6 ft 6 in] tall, depending on circumstances. The leaves are fern-like, 2-4-pinnate, finely divided, feathery, up to 50 cm long, with whitish patches near the rachis. The plant is softly hairy and smells strongly of aniseed when crushed. The flowers are creamy-white, about 2–4 mm across, produced in large umbels. The flowering period extends from May to June.
Sweet Cicely is a wonderful spring and early summer herb, and are some of the first flowers available for nectar-loving insects. This early flowering perennial plant has a bushy, ‘feathery’ appearance and the crushed foliage has a very strong aniseed scent. Producing umbels of white flowers which are airy and graceful in early summer, these can be left to ripen to form large seeds in late summer, and these will frequently stay on the stems until winter, but cutting down the exhausted flower stems will encourage more young growth if you want to use this as a culinary herb. Sweet Cicely, otherwise known as Garden Myrrh or Sweet Bracken, was formerly a widely cultivated culinary herb, as it was said to have been strewn on the floors of churches in medieval Britain, presumably for its scent. The flowers, young leaves and seed pods can be used to add aniseedy flavours to salads. It also makes a delicious herb tea.
Sweet Cicely is a perennial that is part of the carrot family. It grows in the wild in mesic forests and on wooded slopes. The white flowers of this plant can be found at the top clustered into four to seven flowers each. The leaves resemble ferns; dark green leaves are compounded in threes one or two times and have serrated edges. All surfaces of Sweet Cicely are hairy, especially on veins on the underside of the leaves. Towards the end of the season dry brown seeds appear that split into two when ripe.Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow. (Source: www.prairiemoon.com)