03 June 2012

Black Knight Ammi, Bishop's Lace, False Queen Anne's Lace

One hundred ten days from seed to flower, Black Knight Ammi is actually a carrot that bolts to make a 4-foot tall plant topped with over a dozen mauve heads. Each flower head is up to 5-inches across here, though the seed companies say they are 1 to 3 inches across.

Black Knight Ammi

Umbels (parsley family) include: Bishop's weed, Large Bullwort, Caraway, Chervil, Fennel, Helmock, Laceflower, Greater Ammi (Ammi majus), Toothpickweed (Ammi visnaga).

There are 418 genera and 3100 species so it is not surprising that there are so many that are unfamiliar to us.

I bought the seeds a few years ago from Renee's Garden Seeds and planted them in pots, then into the garden. I had no idea they had dropped seeds or that they would return. Needless to say, they are welcome.

Renee's doesn't list them anymore but Johnny's Selected Seeds does and they are sold out. These seeds are not easy to find so I'll have to save some for next year's garden. Now that they have bloomed, I do not want to be without them.

Here's one source: The Gardener's Workshop, Newport News, VA, 888.977.7159

Barbara Perry Lawton in "Parsleys, Fennels and Queen Anne's Lace" says that Bishop's Weed only grows to one-foot tall so the common name can't possibly be correct for these. Queen Anne's Lace is a biennial, blooming only the second year so that name probably is correct. Bishop's Lace is something else altogether so that's an incorrect name, too. These Black Knights are a mystery.

The familiar white Queen Anne's Lace is the ancestor to the carrots we eat today. I've never pulled up a Black Knight by the root but I'd wager that it has a carrot shaped tap root under there.









3 comments:

Capital Gardens said...

I wonder, could you eat the carrot from one of these? Wonder if it would taste the same as normal carrots...

Martha said...

Hi Capital -
I don't know about eating the root. Their quick-to-bolt nature has led to their being used as pollinator food and cut flowers.

The root looks huge at soil level on these 5-foot tall plants - sort of like a fat parsnip.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Capital Gardens said...

Yeah, wouldn't like to eat it either. Still, it's supposed to be almost genetically identical