The spectacular Ammi makes one of the most useful and productive filler flowers in the summer garden. It can be an annual or biennial, upright or spreading, with fern-like pinnately divided leaves and large branched umbels of small creamy-white flowers. With an airy splendour it works well amongst a range of plants in a mixed herbaceous border or in a bouquet. The more you pick, the more the plant will flower!
It prefers to grow in sun or partial shade and in well drained soil. Sow seeds indoors or under glass in a seed tray 6-8 weeks before the last frosts – then transplant out for the growing season. Allow your seed to develop to save and to sow the following year or leave the seed head for the goldfinches in your garden which will come to feed on them during the cold winter months. The flowers are also beneficial for pollinators and predatory insects in your garden.
It is best to pick the flowers when 80% of the flowers on the stem are fully open. If harvested earlier there can be a tendency for the stems to wilt. The fresh flowers of Ammi typically last from 6-8 days in a vase and it is suggested to add flower preservative to the water.
The origin of Ammi is uncertain. It is generally considered to be native to southern Europe, northern Africa, and western and central Asia.