By Jeanne D. Osnas
That tendency for a deliciously aromatic and edible plant species to be closely related to an insanely toxic thing is a recursive tendency for the entire charismatic plant family to which angelica owes its existence: the Apiaceae. With 3780 species in 434 genera (according to the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Angiosperm Phylogeny Website), the Apiaceae is the 16th largest plant family and is one of the most important from a culinary perspective.
Today the botanists in the kitchen tell us about Angelica archangelica, for scientific names of plants associated with the winter holidays, I think it would be hard to beat. Commonly known just as angelica or garden angelica, A. archangelica is one of the few cultivated members among the 60-ish species in the genus that are distributed primarily across the northern reaches of Europe, Asia, and western North America.
Read more at Angelica: Holiday fruitcake from a sometimes toxic family.