What’s Alexanders?

Allisanders, Black Lovage FR: Ombrelle jaune GER: Gelbolde IT: Macerore SP: Esmirnio

BOT: Smyrnium olusatrum FAM: Umbelliferae ILL: Plate 6, No. 6

Alexanders is a heavily built umbelliferous herb, growing up to four or five feet high under suitable conditions. It has yellow-green flowers, black fruits and some resemblance to celery in both appearance and flavour. The original home of this plant was the Mediterranean, but it has long been naturalized in Britain where it is local on wasteland and cliffs near the sea. For the garden it can be raised in any sunny bed either from the plants or seed sown in March and April.

What’s Alexanders? Photo Gallery

Alexanders as a vegetable and herb is out of fashion, but at one time it was much used in the same way we use celery today. Celery displaced it.

It is possible that some people with large gardens will find Alexanders worth growing for the flavour (somewhere between parsley and celery) or for the sake of variety.

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