Scientific Name:  Nigella damascena

Light:  Full sun

Zone:  2 to 11; grown as an annual; winter hardy to zone 6

Height:  18″ to 24″

Width:  12″ to 18″

Flowers:  June to July; Blue with cultivars in white, pink, rose and purple

Fruit/Seed:  showy seed pod used in floral arrangements

Fall Color:

Butterflies:  attracts



Deer Resistant:  Yes

Insects/Pollinators:  attracts


Idea Garden:

Propagation:  Start from seed in spring as soon as ground is workable, usually around St. Patrick’s Day in Carroll County; Seed can be sown in autumn, about Labor Day and the seedlings protected with a light weight row cover over the winter. Seeds should be lightly covered with soil and 60 F is optimal. Germination should occur in 10 to 21 days.  Sow seeds where plants are to grow, since the long taproot makes transplanting unsatisfactory.

Self-sows freely


Love-in-a-mist comes into bloom quickly in spring with unique lacy star-shaped flowers in a mix of blues, plums and whites.  Additionally, it produces ornamental seed pods in greens, chocolates and even stripes.  Nigella is a cool season flower that dries up in summer heat.

Cultivars / Varieties

Albion Series – 24”; Double flowered; Bred for cut flowers; Marked & colored pods attractive in dried arrangements; Black Marbles, Green Marbles

Cramers’ Plum Loco – 24”; Double white flowers followed by ornamental, solid plum-purple seed pods  Bred for cut flower.

Miss Jekyll Series – 20”; Double flowers are followed by inflated red striped seed pods; Double; Indigo, Light Blue, White.

Persian Series – 18”; Classic old fashion Love-In-A-Mist, airy semidouble flowers, striped pods; Mulberry Rose, Oxford Blue

Shorty Blue –  6”; Dwarf Type. Clear Blue flowers; Blooms followed by attractive inflated red-striped seed pods. Can be grown to bloom in combo containers with spring pansies.


Nigella damascena – Missouri Botanical Garden

Specialty Cut Flowers by Armitage & Laushman

Cool Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler

The Flower Farmer by Lynn Byczynski

Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

Photo Credits

Wendell Smith, CC BY – 2.0

Jessie-Hirsch, CC BY-NC-2.0

Olivier Bacquet, CC BY – 2.0

Additional information


Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8




Clay, Dry, Loam, Moist

Flower Color

Blue, Purple, White

Flower Season

Spring, Summer

Fruit Season


Wildlife Value

Beneficial Insects, Deer Resistant, Nectar

Notable Features

Containers, Cut Flowers

Local Availability

Available, Widely Available


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