Korean angelica – info, planting, care and tips

Korean angelica (Angelica gigas)
Korean angelica (Angelica gigas) - by Hardyplants

The Korean angelica attracts all eyes with its dome-shaped dark red umbels in the bed. This is how you plant and care for this lovely plant correctly.

Profile of Korean angelica:

Scientific name: Angelica gigas

Plant family: umbellifer family (Apiaceae)

Other names: giant angelica, purple parsnip, dangquai

Sowing time: autumn

Planting time: spring

Flowering period: July to September

Location: sunny to partially shady

Soil quality: sandy to loamy, sensitive to lime, nutrient rich, humus rich

These information are for temperate climate!

Use in: flower beds, flower bouquets, single position, pond planting, overgrowing, apothecary garden, cottage garden, flower garden, natural garden

Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6 (-20 °C / -5 °F)

Bee and insect friendly: Yes

Plant characteristics and classification of Korean angelica

Plant order, origin and occurrence of Korean angelica

Whoever hears the name angelica first thinks of the garden angelica (Angelica archangelica) used as a medicinal plant. However, among the angelica there is also a species that has a very high ornamental value: the Korean angelica (Angelica gigas). This impressive plant is usually biennial and is an eye-catcher with its purple-red umbelliferous flowers on the edges of ponds and in perennial borders. In addition, bees and butterflies literally swarm around it during the flowering period. This pretty plant originally comes from Japan and Korea and belongs to the umbellifer family (Apiaceae).

Characteristics of Korean angelica


The Korean angelica grows lower than the garden angelica, which can even grow up to two meters (80 in) high, but also reaches a height of one and a half meters (60 in). The plant is very fast-growing and grows upright. As it is biennial, it only produces leaves in the first year after sowing and does not bear flowers until the second year. However, it is available in perennial nurseries as young plants.


In the first year, the Korean angelica shoots a rosette of somewhat knee-high stems and pinnate, green and tripartite leaves. In the following year, the tall, hollow, purple-red stems appear.


From the bulb-like, dark buds of the angelica, which sit on crimson-red stems, striking flower umbels, of the same color, appear from July to September, which can reach impressive sizes of 10 to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 in) in diameter. The short-lived species usually dies after flowering, but ensures its survival by self-sowing. If you do not want the angelica to spread in the bed, you should cut off the withered umbels in time.

Korean angelica – cultivation and care

Location and Soil

The Korean angelica prefers a sunny to partially shady location and a nutrient-rich, permeable soil. It thrives best in fresh to moist, lime-poor substrate.


The seeds of Korean angelica needs cold to germ and should be sown outdoors in early autumn. Next spring, the offspring is isolated at a distance of 80 to 100 centimeters (32 to 40 in). Angelica plants are also available in pots. When planting, the root ball should be submerged in water vigorously so that the angelica grows well. A mulch layer of grass cuttings or leaves ensures that there is sufficient moisture and warmth around the plant. Since the Korean angelica can grow up to 1.5 meters (60 in) wide, you should be able to give it sufficient space in the bed. A planting distance of 100 to 150 centimeters (40 to 60 in) is recommended.


The Korean angelica needs sufficient and regular water, without waterlogging. In addition, the flower stems should be cut off before flowering to prevent the angelica from dying off in winter. In this way, the plant may flower again the following year.

Attention: Do not get too close to the plant on warm and sunny days, because the leaves contain furanocoumarins, which can cause allergic skin reactions and inflammations! Therefore, always wear long-sleeved clothing and gloves when carrying out care work.


The Korean angelica propagates by self-sowing. Ripe seeds can also be harvested in September. As they do not germinate for long, the seed is sown immediately on the spot in soil that is as moist and humus rich as possible and the plants are then pricked out in spring.

Diseases and pests

The Korean angelica is a relatively robust and disease-resistant plant. Sometimes aphids can occur.


Korean angelica is hardy down to -20 °C / -5 °F. A layer of leaves or brushwood is addvisable for winter protection.

Use in the garden

Especially in sunny perennial beds, the Korean angelica is well suited as a structural plant. You can place this bee-friendly plant impressively in the background or use it as a link between woody plants and flatter perennials. But it can also be used as an ornamental on its own at larger ponds or in natural gardens. Harmonious effect is achieved above all by tone-in-tone plant combinations with purpletop vervain (Verbena bonariensis), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), foxglove (Digitalis), woodland sage (Salvia nemorosa), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and various ornamental grasses. On the other hand, contrasts are created in the late summer bed with yellow flowering partners such as coneflower (Rudbeckia), sneezeweed (Helenium) or dahlias.

Korean angelica as medicinal plant

The dried roots of angelica are used in the production of liqueur. The fluted stems can also be candied and their spicy taste can be used to refine jams or chutneys. Angelica is particularly well known as a medicinal plant. Because of its bitter constituents and essential oils, the roots are used to make teas or tinctures for treating cramp-like stomach and intestinal complaints as well as bloating and flatulence. For this purpose, the rootstocks, which are well anchored in the soil, are dug out at the end of September in dry weather, washed and split lengthwise. They are then dried in a warm room and stored in tightly closed containers, as they easily attract harmful insects.

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