Angelica was probably imported to the Fortress of Louisbourg from France - but whether on purpose, or accidentally in the ballast of ships or mixed in with agricultural seed, we may never know for sure. A clue may be found in the presence of two other plants also used in the making of "poor man's brandy" - absinthe. According to my consulting botanist, it would be quite a coincidence for all three of these non-native plants to have made their way to this very small site in the middle of the 18th century.
(Angelica sylvestris L.) is not to be confused with the herb you may have seen in recipe books as an ingredient in confections. Our angelica is little more than a noxious weed, its root (used in making the liquor) being slightly toxic.
The plant is quite prolific. Until recent times cattle kept the weed under control and one only saw it in and around the town of Louisbourg. But with the disappearance of the small farm and the family cow, angelica was free to spread her wings. In recent years she embellishes roadsides - and no doubt other areas - where it was never seen before.
Plants can grow to 5 feet or more. The flower head is large, but not showy in colour - normally a very drab cream and brown. Once in a long while one will come across blooms that could almost be described as a very dusty rose. Here, in my design, I have bathed the field in the pink glow of twilight, and without using so much artistic license as you might think to reproduce the photograph from which I worked.
Other native plants you can cross-stitch:
Also - see our Fortress of Louisbourg Collection