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The first time I saw it was when my mother grew it in her garden for drying.
The blooms are pretty, plus the seedpods are very interesting as well. They are shaped a little like a dainty balloon and can be dried for crafting.
I used them on woodland wreaths and straw hats I decorated for gifts. The flowers can be used as cut flowers, or pressed for crafting.
The plants are ferny looking-similar to fennel- which is why it's been called fennel flower as well as love-in-a-mist.
They will grow to about 2 foot tall. The seeds can be sown outside as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil where they will receives at least 6 hours of sun.
The flowers bloom about three months after they are planted. Thin to 8-10 inches between plants. It will reseed the next year. Seed where you want the plants to stay because they don't transplant easily.
A note on another nigella, n. sativa, which is used as an herb-the seeds are spicy and can be used in cooking. It's often confused with n. damascena, which also has the edible seeds but is really not used for this purpose as far as I can tell.
They have been used medicinally in some cultures, but n. sativa is the plant used as "black cumin" if you are interested in this.
Nigella damascena was popular in 16th Century gardens. It's an old fashioned garden annual that is very easy to grow and a charming addition to any garden! Try planting them with strawflowers, bachelor buttons, bell's of Ireland and globe amaranth for a wonderful everlasting garden.