Bishop’s Flower and Dara are nice garden wildflowers

Published 8:15 am Tuesday, June 18, 2024

By Eddie Smith
MSU Extension Service

My friends, Ben and Kelly Boerner, have a charming home and gardens nestled in the picturesque countryside of Carriere, Mississippi.

When I visited them, I found myself immersed in the beauty of their meticulously curated landscape, which features eye-catching wildflowers. These beautiful wildflowers not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of their gardens but also support local biodiversity by attracting pollinators and beneficial insects.

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Among the standout wildflowers is the Bishop’s Flower, an award-winning annual in the carrot family. Its scientific name is Ammi majus, but it is also affectionately known as white dill or False Queen Anne’s Lace due to its resemblance to those familiar blooms.

This plant has white flower heads, which are 4 to 6 inches in diameter, and sit atop stems that can reach an impressive 3 to 6 feet tall. The lacy green foliage adds to its delicate appearance.

Bishop’s Flower thrives in average, moist, well-drained soil and requires full sun to flourish. It is best to sow the seeds directly where you want them to grow, as the plant does not transplant well.

Once established, it not only adds elegance to the garden but also attracts a variety of beneficial visitors, including lady beetles and lacewings, which contribute to the vibrancy of the garden ecosystem.

One of my favorites added a splash of color to Ben and Kelly’s garden, and that is Dara, another member of the carrot family. Known scientifically as Daucus carota, this wildflower also reaches 3 to 6 feet tall.

What sets Dara apart is its stunning flat, airy flower heads, with clusters of small flowers that can vary from a rich burgundy to a delicate blush pink. It also has unique feathery green leaves.

Dara is a biennial plant, meaning it completes its life cycle over two years. To enjoy its beautiful blooms, sow seeds from June to September, with the expectation of flowers appearing the following year. This plant, like its cousin Bishop’s Flower, prefers average, moist, well-drained soil and full sun.

The Boerners’ gardens serve as a perfect example of how incorporating wildflowers from the carrot family can add beauty and ecological value to a landscape.

If you are a garden enthusiast looking to enhance your outdoor spaces, consider adding these exquisite wildflowers. Their stunning blooms and ecological benefits make them a worthwhile addition.

Whether you prefer the pure white elegance of Bishop’s Flower or the vibrant hues of Dara, these plants are sure to bring joy and vitality to your landscape.