Love in a mist
Nigella damascena

Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) is a flowering plant belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is native to southern Europe, north Africa and southwest Asia. The name ‘damascena’ relates to Damascus in Syria. Adopt a love-in-a-mist seed and give a truly personalised birthday or wedding gift.

The plant's common name comes from the fennel-like, ferny foliage that forms a “mist” around the pretty blue flowers.

It grows to 20–50 cm tall, with pinnately divided, thread-like, alternate leaves. The flowers, blooming in early summer, are most commonly different shades of blue, but can be white, pink, or pale purple, with 5 to 25 sepals. The actual petals are located at the base of the stamens and are minute and clawed.

The fruit is a large and inflated capsule, growing from a compound ovary, and is composed of several united follicles, each containing numerous seeds. This is rather exceptional for a member of the buttercup family. The capsule becomes brown in late summer. The plant self-seeds, growing on the same spot year after year.

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