|AMMI majus - False Queen Anne’s Lace|
Apiaceae; native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
Germination: Sow outdoors in spring, barely covering the seed. Or sow indoors, leaving seed uncovered and maintain a temperature of 55-75° F. Germination takes 15-20 days; A. majusblooms 3 months from sowing.
Growth: In spring, space plants 1-2 feet apart in full sun and fertile soil. A. majus transplants easily and thrives in a cool area with 60° F nights. Keep plants evenly moist and fertilize lightly. Deadhead to promote further blooming; staking is recommended. A. majus is an excellent cool season crop for the South; plant in fall or winter.
Appearance and Use: A. majus is grown in borders or naturalized areas, and often used by florists in arrangements. In early spring, the upright plants are covered by 5-inch white bloom clusters resembling snowflakes. The plants, 2-6 feet tall and 2 feet wide, display fern-like blue-green foliage. Cut the flowerheads when approximately 80 percent of the blooms are open; the flowers last 5-7 days in fresh arrangements. To dry the blooms, hang them upside-down for 2-3 weeks in a dark, dry place.
Related Species: A. visagna — Larger than A. majus, with bigger flowerheads and stronger stems. 6-inch blooms arrive 2-3 weeks later than A. majus. 3-4 feet tall.
NASA Seeds in Space
"Plants vary in their heat stress tolerance, not only from species to species, but also from cultivar to cultivar. In addition, unusual seasons-fewer or more hot days than normal-will invariably affect results in your garden, as will extremely dry or humid conditions," Dr. H. Marc Cathey, with Linda Bellamy, Heat-zone Gardening, How to choose plants that thrive in your region’s warmest weather.