angelica ănjĕl´ĭkə [key], any species of the genus Angelica, plants of the family Umbelliferae (parsley family), native to the Northern Hemisphere and New Zealand, valued for their potency as a medicament and protection against evil spirits and the plague, which probably accounts for the name; angelica is a poetic symbol for inspiration. The roots and fruits yield angelica oil, which is used in perfume, confectionery, medicine, and for flavoring liqueurs (such as angelica). The species most often used for these purposes is A. archangelica, a subarctic and alpine plant of the Old World once extensively grown but now seldom cultivated outside Germany. This and a few other species are sometimes used as ornamentals. Angelica is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Apiales, family Umbelliferae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants