This is a Nigella damascena, also called the Love-in-a-mist flower— that’s for the more romantically inclined. It is also called a Ragged Lady, or even, Devil-in-the-bush! It is an annual garden flowering plant, belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It is native to southern Europe, north Africa and southwest Asia, where it is found on neglected, damp patches of land.
It has grow up in my garden by my having haphazardly thrown down some seeds from a mixed-seed packet that came as a freebie with other plants that I ordered. I didn’t have any idea of which flower seeds were in the packet, so I didn’t take much care in planting the seeds, but a few of them sprouted, this Nigella being the most exotic.
As showy as the flower is, I have more interest in the plant’s spiny leaves, as well as the big inflated seed pod that is left after the petals drop off – those make the plant look like something from a science-fiction movie!
Just click the right or left arrows to move through the 5 photos included.