Melanoselinum decipiens

Melanoselinum decipiensThis truly stunning plant has a long history as a garden plant at Mt. Macedon where I live. Nearly all the large gardens have colonies of it and it has certainly been grown here for decades before I was born. It has always been known by local gardeners as Tree Angelica and I only got its botanic name when I started my own nursery and did the research.

It is by the way after a quick Google search apparently known as Giant Carrot, Black Parsley (a direct translation of the botanic name) or one of my personal favourites a Parsnip Palm! It does in fact have parsnip like leaves and the ringed trunks with their top knots of arching leaves do make it look like a palm.

It needs to be planted when young and will then over a few years grow up to 3metres or more. It will then flower like a giant parsnip and then die (monocarpic), this bitter sweet finally is in one way only a new beginning as it will produce copious seed and start the whole cycle over again.

I love it for its tropical look in my less than tropical garden and allow it to form groves in my garden as I’m sure it does in its native Madiera. I have plants in 6″ pots for $18.50 so why not get started.

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