Think You Can Identify This Plant? No. 37 – June 2008

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

If you know the genus and species of this month’s mystery plant, you could win a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening.

Send your entry by June 30, 2008 to [email protected] with “Mystery Plant #37 – June” in the subject line. The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries.

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Last month’s mystery plant was Myrrhis odorata, otherwise known as sweet Cicely. This ferny, aromatic perennial is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 7 and prefers dapples shade in moist, well-drained, fertile soil. Umbels of small, starry white flowers appear in early summer follwed by clusters of long, brown, ridged seeds. Young leaves and seeds have a pleasant anise flavor and scent, and are used to flavor desserts. This European native grows to 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Jessie Adams of Wilsonville, Oregon, was chosen at random from all correct entries to receive a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening. Jessie says, “I use it as a contrasting texture and appearance in a salad of mixed greens (also, the blooms are good in salad) and find it especially tantalizing as the primary flavoring for ice cream. It also may be used for a pretty accent or as a doily on a dessert plate. It is one of my favorites and when introducing certain herbs in my garden I always pluck a sweet Cicely leaf for a friend to taste and enjoy. It is certain to bring a smile.” Congratulations, Jessie!

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