NIGELLA Love in a mist
(Devil in the bush) (Lady-in-the-green) (Fennel flower) (Jack-in-the-bush)
(Named from Latin for little black, alluding to the seeds)
The fantastic names given to Nigella, which alone tempt anyone to grow it, have reference to the character of the flowers and leaves. The single, or double, blue, or white flowers are furnished with a lace collar of green fern-like foliage. The common species is Nigella damascena, the favorite variety being Miss Jekyll. The plants grow 1/2 feet tall and usually bloom constantly from early Summer till Fall. The flowers are followed by attractive, inflated, and horned seed pods an inch in diameter.
Relative to the name Devil-in-a-bush, Mr. Breck writes that the name is appropriate because “that evil character is supposed to hide as much as possible from public view.”
Where to Plant. The airy grace lent by these flowers is delightful in the garden. For cut flowers, they are also valuable, for they may be arranged easily in low vases. The double flowers are preferable to the singles. Planted with California poppies, Nigella provides a pleasing contrast in colors.
GENERAL. Seeds may be sown in Autumn for these annuals are perfectly hardy and usually self-sow. Spring-sown seeds bloom later and extend the flowering period. There is little need for sowing indoors, however, as the plants bloom when quite small. Thin the plants to stand 8 to 12 inches apart. In saving one’s own seed keep only that from the double flowers