'Green Mist' Khella
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~100
Germination tested 11/2023: 81%
Life cycle: Annual
Green Mist' is a large-flowering selection of an old plant that is only just being rediscovered by gardeners, foodies, and traditional medicine practitioners. It resembles its cousin the wild carrot, or Queen Anne's lace, but its flowers can reach five inches across, tinged with green, and are even more lacy and fine. It makes an excellent cut flowers, with long, durable stems, and beautifuly wispy foliage. Even the dried seed heads are beautiful and useful for long-lasting dry arrangements.
The plants have a long history of medicinal use dating back at least to ancient Egypt, where its value for those suffering from kidney stones was first recorded. A compound called 'khellin' found in the seeds has been used to treat other kidney problems and asthma.
The thin dried stems beneath the flowers are said to make a good toothpick, which gives this species one of its common names: toothpick plant! The leaves are edible and have a pleasant flavor (though we're told it may not agree with some people, so sample in moderation). The seeds are used as a spice.
Plants can be annual or biennial. The abundant summer flowers are rich in both nectar and pollen, making them veritable smorgasboards for a range of beneficial insects, including parasitic wasps, lacewings, syrphid flies, and minute pirate bugs.
Our seed comes from Wild Garden Seeds in Philomath, Oregon.
GROWING TIPS: Requires medium to low water, and thrives in full sun to part shade. Can overwinter as a rosette if seedlings are sown in the fall in most climates. Direct sow or sow in flats or pots shallowly and keep evenly moist. Germination should occur in 1-2 weeks.