Botanical Name and Pronunciation:
Nigella damascena (ni-GEL-a dam-a-SKAY-na)
Love in a Mist
blue, pink, mauve, white
Form and Size:
The leafless stems of nigella are 16 18 inches long and have very fine, hair-like foliage. At stem ends there are flat flowers that have a 1 1 ½-inch diameter.
7 10 days
Remove any leaves at the bottom of the stem, cut and place in fresh water with flower food.
History and Usage:
A member of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family, nigella originated in southern Europe and northern Africa. Its botanical and popular name comes from the word niger which is Latin for black. This is in reference to the black seeds. The black seeds of this flower used to be put in cakes and other pastries in the Middle East.
Points of Interest:
Relatives of nigella include anemone, monkshood, larkspur and columbine. Women in Egypt used to eat the seeds as much as possible because they thought they would make them gain weight. Full-figured women were thought to be more attractive at that time.