Lovage, Black

Medical Herbs Catalogue

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Lovage, Black

otanical: Smyrnium Olisatrum (LINN.)
Synonyms: Alexanders. Alisanders. Black Pot-herb.
Part Used: Herb.


Black Lovage is in leaf and flower not unlike an Angelica, and amateur collectors have sometimes mistaken it for Wild Angelica.

Alexanders, to use its more common name, is a large perennial herb, growing 3 or 4 feet in height, with very large leaves, doubly and triply divided into three (ternate), with broad leaflets; the sheaths of the footstalks are very broad and membraneous in texture. The yellowish-green flowers are produced in numerous close, rounded umbels without involucres (the little leaves that are placed often at the spot where the various rays of the umbel spring). The whole herb is of a yellowish-green tint. The fruit is formed of two, nearly globular halves, with prominent ridges. When ripe, it is almost black, whence the plant received from the old herbalists the name of 'Black Pot-herb,' the specific name signifying the same. (Olus, a pot-herb, and atrum, black.)