This genus of 50 species hails from all over the Northern Hemisphere and contains a handful of ornamental herbs and one striking subject for the perennial border. A. gigas, which came to our shores from Korea, has broad, fingered foliage and deep reddish purple stems. This rich coloration extends to the 6-8″ broad umbels of minute flowers that cap 5-6′ plants, hence its value as a dramatic accent in the garden. Effective from the middle of August, when the flowers begin to open, until the seed heads ripen toward the end of September. It is adaptable as to culture, growing in full sun or partial shade and average garden soil. It has biennial tendencies and is generally short-lived, but plentiful seedlings make for a perennial display that is in a class by itself.
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